3/4/2021 UPDATE:

Good afternoon, 

As we are fielding numerous calls about how to get a vaccine, I wanted to recap what we know based on the changes this week. 

Recap of what we know at this point: 

On Monday Governor DeSantis issued a new executive order expanding eligibility of the vaccine to now include: 

  • Long-term care facility residents and staff;
  • Persons 65 years of age and older
  • Health care personnel with direct patient contact
  • K-12 school employees 50 years of age and older
  • Sworn law enforcement officers 50 years of age and older and 
  • Firefighters 50 years of age and older.
  • In addition to hospital providers, licensed physicians, ARNP and pharmacists may also vaccinate persons whom they deem to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. The health department released a form for medical providers to fill out to authorize the vaccine. 

FEMA is using Lake Maude Recreation Park (1790 7th Street NE, Winter Haven) to distribute vaccines daily, now until Tuesday, March 9 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. No registration is required at this walk-up site. Those interested must meet current patient criteria as established by the state. This site will re-open 21 days later (March 24) for a 7-day window to administer second dose vaccinations. The anticipated number of daily vaccinations at the site is 500. Please note the City is providing the location, but the operations are managed entirely by FEMA. 

If your occupation is a requirement for the vaccine, bring proof of employment. 

All my best – 

Katie Worthington Decker

Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce
401 Ave B NW, Winter Haven, FL 33881
Office: 863-293-2138 


1/21/2021 UPDATE:

From the Polk County Health Department’s website:

“Update for January 21, 2021: The Florida Department of Health in Polk County continues to work diligently to protect the health of the residents in Polk County against COVID-19. This week, DOH-Polk is working with community vaccination partners including Lakeland Regional Health and BayCare, to assist with COVID-19 vaccinations across the county. “

For more info visit: the Polk County Health Department website HERE  .

1/14/2021 UPDATE:

The Florida Department of Health in Polk County, in partnership with Polk County Board of County Commissioners, launched Polk County’s COVID-19 vaccine registration portal.

To create an account and then submit your personal information for a future vaccine appointment, visit the Florida Department of Health Polk County’s vaccination registration web portal HERE.

1/10/2021  UPDATE:



After experiencing the frustration of attempting to get the COVID-19 vaccination here in Polk County, I am sharing this information. Rumors have been abounding related to getting “the shot in the arm”

The Polk County Health Department has ongoing limited supplies of the Modera vaccine. The huge response from seniors to acquire the vaccines has resulted in the telephone communication system problems.

In order to receive the vaccination, you must make an appointment. The access to make an appointment by telephone is challenging. You must remain on the line for a long period of time after being connected. After being connected, you will be able to make an appointment. I was able to make an appointment immediately when I accepted a cancellation.

This having been said, when I arrived the care given by the health care professionals was extraordinary.!!! All staff were friendly and you are escorted to a distancing safe area for information. At that point you are escorted to a waiting area and called to receive you vaccine. After completing the “shot in the arm” you are escorted to a waiting area for 15 minutes to be assessed for any reactions. When declared “all safe”, you are free to go. You are also given an appointment to return for the second booster vaccine.

There will be several locations coming in the future for vaccine distribution. Seniors are in the first line for inoculation of the vaccine. Please practice safe behaviors: wearing masks, social distancing, staying away from crowds and washing hands. Publix, Walgreens, and CVS will be getting vaccines. I have checked with various locations, each stating they do not know when they will receive the vaccines. Please be a patient who has patience!

The following are guidelines to access the Polk County Health Department:

Q: Who is eligible for the vaccine first?
A: High-contact and high-exposure health care personnel.

B: Patients in long-term care facilities.

From Polk County Health Department on Covid News:

Q: Can I schedule an appointment with the Polk County Health Department?
A: Appointments for this week, Jan 3-9, are filled.

To schedule an appointment for next week, on Friday, Jan 8, call DOH-Polk’s COVID-19 Information Center at or 863-298-7500.

  • Due to the significant increase in phone calls the Polk County Health Department phone system is experiencing some technical difficulties. Thank you for your patience as they work to resolve these issues.
  • For more info visit:
  • Polk County anticipates additional vaccination events to take place. Future vaccine events will be posted on the website.
  • Check the website for details.
Rosemarie Lamm, Ph.D, ARNP

Executive Director

Rath Senior ConNEXTions Center

118 West Lemon Street

Lakeland, FL 33815


Leave a Comment

Skip to content