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COVID-19 vaccine eligibility requirements differ at federal and state levels

Published: Mar. 15, 2021 at 11:55 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Eligibility guidelines for the COVID-19 vaccine differ from the federal and state levels and even from store to store in North-Central Florida.

For example, K-12 employees over the age of 50 and everyone over the age of 60, are eligible at state-run facilities in Florida. However, K-12 employees under the age of 50 are eligible at federal sites, including CVS, Publix, Walmart, Winn Dixie, Walgreens, and all four FEMA sites in the state. The three closest FEMA sites are in Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tampa.

RELATED STORY: Fighting COVID: Everything you need to know about where/how to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine in NCFL

Dr. Crystal Tessmann is an educator in her 30′s and received her vaccine at CVS. She thinks the communication at one level is lacking.

“The state could do a much better job,” explained Dr. Tessmann. “The federal is doing a good job. I think our local area is doing a good job. You would kind of think at a state level they would send out massive emails.”

RELATED STORY: Q&A: UF Health answers questions about the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

Dr. Tessmann said officials with the Alachua County School District and the teacher’s union provided a clear outline for K-12 employees explaining where they would be eligible, depending on the category they fit into.

“Our district did send out information, and so did the union, which was good,” according to Dr. Tessmann. " I think it should be pretty clear in our district for people who check their email.”

RELATED STORY: Johnson & Johnson vaccine appointments available in Bradford and Union Counties

Walmart and Sam’s Club are offering a waitlist for those who would like to get the vaccine but do not meet eligibility requirements. Those waitlists vary by store. To find out more information about this option, call your nearest location.

Those who are not K-12 employees and don’t have a clear understanding of the eligibility requirements for the COVID-19 vaccine at different levels click here to access our vaccine landing page. We have the latest information for the federal and state level.

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