Pinellas County plans to start administering vaccines to those 65 and older next Tuesday, the county health department announced Wednesday afternoon.
Hillsborough County will be soon to follow, according to an update from its health department, and stated it expects to be able to accommodate appointments for the vaccine for priority groups the first part of January. The county has so far vaccinated 12,395 people, according to state records.
Pinellas County, which was selected as part of the pilot program to be among the first two counties in Florida to provide vaccines to those in skilled nursing facilities, has already vaccinated more than 12,300 people in the county.
That includes the county’s 68 skilled nursing facilities, in which the county immunized 6,700 staff members and residents within five days of the arrival of the Pfizer vaccine. The county also provided vaccines to EMS and fire rescue who administered vaccines, and other healthcare personnel.
In the continuation of the pilot, the county will complete first and second doses of the vaccine in facilities starting next week.
For those who are 65 and older, Pinellas County will open a reservation system on Monday, Jan. 4, at noon. More information will be released on how to reserve a time at a designated vaccination site at a later date.
Florida has received 367,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, which will be distributed to 226 hospital locations that did not receive doses in the first allocation of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Hillsborough County’s Tampa General Hospital was one of the five hospitals chosen to receive doses of the Pfizer vaccine, of which it received 20,000.
Both counties are continuing to see high COVID-19 case numbers.
Pinellas County confirmed 374 new cases of COVID-19 in Wednesday’s report, which covers Tuesday, bringing its overall caseload to 44,243. The county confirmed five additional deaths related to the novel coronavirus, for a death toll of 1,045, and 25 new hospitalizations.