State will soon require proof of residency to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Starting Wednesday, COVID-19 vaccine locations in Seminole County will require a proof of residency to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Other counties will follow suit at a later date.

The announcement was made Tuesday morning during a news conference with Gov. Ron DeSantis.

To receive the shot, you must show a Florida ID or utility bill.

“We’re only doing for Florida, Florida residents,” DeSantis said. “You got to live here either full-time or at least part-time.”

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With Florida opening up vaccination registration to anyone 65 and up with no proof of residency previously required, some people in the state were concerned about “vaccine tourism.”

A lot of people have also brought up the topic of “snowbirds,” or people who come to Florida from the north to escape from the freezing temperatures every year.

Many have homes in Florida, so state leaders said they should be able to get the vaccine.

READ: ‘Vaccine tourism’: People are flying to Florida for COVID-19 vaccine shots

Alan Harris, Seminole County’s emergency management director, said he only found out a few hours before the general public of the new requirement.

However, he said it isn’t as cut and dry as you might think.

“The way that they put it to us is that they own or rent property here in the state of Florida,” he said, adding that could mean a home or business.

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“Maybe they reside somewhere else, but because they own property here, they would be eligible,” Harris said. “So they would have to have their business license with their name on it.”

Harris said the state said some people who don’t own property here are still eligible for doses, such as people who spend months here at a time, but just rent.

“So they could show a rental agreement, they could show a utilities (statement),” Harris said. “So they said that they needed to prove it in any way. And they said, ‘You come up with the idea.’”

The new requirements apply to state-run sites.


Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.