Coronavirus: Eligibility for vaccine expanded to Floridians age 16 and older

Floridians 18 and up are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, 16-and-17-year-olds can get the Pfizer shot.

The state-run, federally-supported Gateway vaccination site reports it’s expecting a surge in young people Monday.

But despite staff preparing for long lines, Action News Jax didn’t see massive amounts of people at Gateway or other sites like Regency Square Mall.

17-year-old Shyanne Totman can’t wait to get back to normal. Getting the vaccine brings her one step closer to that goal.

“I think it’s a really good step in making sure everyone’s safe,” Totman said.

She got the shot against COVID-19 a couple of weeks ago. As it turns out, she and many others between 16 and 24 years of age have already been vaccinated.

The Florida Department of Health reports as of Sunday, 6,394 young people in Duval County have had the shot, 2,221 in St. Johns County, 336 in Nassau, 63 in Baker, 1,122 in Clay, 149 in Putnma, and 398 in Flagler.

With expanded eligibility for the vaccine, Totman urges her peers and other young people to get the shot.

“I know it’s scary because it’s new, and vaccines like that are scary, but I think it’s a good step in getting everyone safe,” Totman said.

Most of all, she says she’s looking forward to living the life of a carefree teen once again.

16-and-17-year-olds will need a legal guardian with them in order to get the shot, as well as a signed consent form from the Department of Health.

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