In an effort to stop “vaccine tourism” three Florida counties will now require proof of residency in order to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.
A Florida ID or utility bill must be shown in order to receive the shot, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced at a press conference, WFTV9 News reported. But the move, reportedly at the urging of Gov. DeSantis, has not yet been embraced by all Central Florida counties, creating some confusion about vaccine availability in the state.
“We’re only doing for Florida residents,” said DeSantis. “You’ve got to live here either full-time or at least part-time.”
Previously, Florida opened vaccination registration to anyone 65 and older with no proof of residency, WFTV9 reported. This raised concern among resident about “vaccine tourism” as well as snowbirds who travel to Florida to escape cold winters in the north. State leaders pushed back saying many of the snowbirds have homes in Florida, so they should be able to get the vaccine. (RELATED: Millions Of COVID-19 Vaccines Have Yet To Be Used Since First US Distribution)
“The message has been very, very clear from the state: Vaccines are for Florida residents only,” said Alan Harris, Seminole’s emergency management director at the news conference. “They need to show anything that demonstrates that they have or own or rent property here in the state of Florida. Even down to if an individual has a theme park pass that says Florida resident — that would be good enough for us.”