BRADENTON, Fla. — Starting Monday, Florida residents who are 60 and older can register for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Because Manatee County has such a high senior population, one-fifth of all residents are already vaccinated. The county says moving onto the 60-64 age range will get us one step closer to herd immunity.
Manatee County is also launching its new automated appointment system, Everbridge.
With the new system, those registering can better modify their information and even cancel an appointment if they got the vaccine somewhere else. The old system didn’t allow anyone to make changes to their registration without calling the county’s 311 information line for help.
Manatee County Public Safety Director Jake Saur says it's the perfect time to switch to a new age group because there are only 24,000 seniors left in the vaccination pool and one-third of those are declining the vaccine because they got it somewhere else. The county says they believe the next age range will go quickly.
"I don’t think we’ll stay at the 60-64 mark very long, obviously that’s up to the governor," said Saur.
Saur says if you’re already signed up for a vaccine appointment in Manatee County, you don’t need to do anything because your information automatically moves into the new system. He says seniors 65 and older still take priority over the 60-64 age range in the lottery group.
If you are a Manatee County resident who is 60 and older and would like to register for an appointment to receive the free COVID-19 vaccine, click here.