BARTOW, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health Polk County (DOH-Polk) will be working with community vaccination partners across the county to distribute its recent shipment of COVID-19 vaccine. DOH-Polk received a shipment of 5,500 COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday, January 19.
Vaccination partners, including Lakeland Regional Health, BayCare and Polk County Board of County Commissioners, will be assisting DOH-Polk in administering its recent vaccine supply over the next week.
DOH-Polk will be dispersing portions of its supplies to each of the hospitals to assist with vaccinations. As more vaccine becomes available, DOH-Polk hopes to expand its vaccination partners to different entities including pharmacies, drug stores and primary care providers.
“I am grateful for our community vaccination partners and their assistance in helping us administer COVID-19 vaccine to our communities,” says Dr. Joy Jackson, director of the Florida Department of health in Polk County. “This is a community effort and we are pleased to be able to distribute vaccine more quickly through these partnerships.”
Lakeland Regional Health began its vaccination efforts in late December, administering the vaccine to highest-risk team members and high-risk healthcare workers in the community.
“Lakeland Regional Health is excited to be able to collaborate with the Florida Department of Health in Polk County and our colleagues at hospitals in the area to vaccinate high-risk members of our community,” said Danielle Drummond, MS, FACHE, Lakeland Regional Health President and CEO.
“Our goal is to conveniently and quickly vaccinate residents as we help save lives and prevent further spread of the COVID-19 virus.”
BayCare started vaccination efforts in December, administering the vaccine to frontline healthcare workers at its hospitals, Bartow Regional Medical Center, Winter Haven Hospital, and Winter Haven Women’s Hospital, plus to community licensed medical providers.
“BayCare is committed to helping Polk County vaccinate against COVID-19,” says Steve Nierman, president of Winter Haven Hospital. “Community vaccination is a joint effort and we are happy to play a role in helping our community fight COVID-19.”
Vaccinations this week will be conducted by appointment only. Both Lakeland Regional Health and BayCare will be assisting DOH-Polk in vaccinating those who are on Polk’s vaccine registration list.
The registration list includes individuals who have called into Polk County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline or registered through the online portal.
Those who are 65 years old and older and who wish to receive the COVID-19 may register through Polk’s County’s vaccine portal which can be found at https://register.polk.health/.
Users can create an account and upload their personal information for a future appointment.
Polk County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline also remains open. Those who prefer to register by phone, can still call (863) 298-7500 for assistance.
The center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Additional weekend hours have also been added for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.