Beginning Friday, proof of residency will no longer be required at federally-supported and state-supported COVID-19 vaccination sites in Florida.
On Thursday, Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees issued a Public Health Advisory expanding vaccine eligibility to include non-Florida residents who provide goods and services to residents of the state.
“Until further notice, every individual in Florida providing COVID-19 vaccinations should provide a COVID-19 vaccine to any eligible individual who is a Florida resident or who is present in Florida for the purpose of providing goods and services for the benefit of residents and visitors of the state of Florida,” the advisory stated.
Dr. Rivkees also stated that those administering the shots should ensure that no vaccines are wasted.
Prior to the advisory, Florida residents had been required to show proof of residency through a state-issued ID to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The requirement, however, posed problems for farmworkers, undocumented immigrants and other categories of residents who do not possess such identification.
Earlier this month, Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness had raised the issue at a Commissioner’s meeting, saying the county, and state at large, has a responsibility to vaccinate all residents.
“They’re our residents and they can help us to control the spread of this disease if we’re able to get them vaccinated,” he said.
During the meeting, Commissioner Holness proposed a community ID program so that residents in the county who do not have state identification can access essential services, like vaccinations.
Broward County Sheriff, Gregory Tony also supported the program, saying that, “Today, Broward County has thousands of residents who lack identification for various reasons. With the homeless, undocumented, formerly incarcerated, to elderly, these and other bureaucratically-challenged residents do not have access to many basic and vital services. The community ID will provide these residents with a way to access those services.”
The Commissioners voted unanimously to pass the proposal. This is the first county-wide municipal ID program in Florida.