COVID-19 Vaccine Information

BayCare appreciates the community’s high level of interest in the COVID-19 vaccine, which represents a valuable tool in helping West Central Florida move beyond the pandemic. BayCare is working as efficiently and quickly as possible to support the community’s vaccination efforts, but like all providers across the country, its efforts are limited by vaccine supplies and team resources. The community’s patience is appreciated.

At this time, BayCare has paused almost all vaccination scheduling due to an exhausted vaccine supply. A limited number of vaccines are available for medically vulnerable patients, who will be contacted by BayCare to schedule appointments.

BayCare’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, since first receiving vaccines in late December from the State of Florida, have been in accordance with state guidelines, focusing on its healthcare workers most at risk of exposure, then on all patient-facing team members and physicians, and now serving, as possible, other healthcare workers in the community. BayCare Medical Group (BMG) is also supporting Florida’s guidelines that prioritize vaccines for those 65 years of age and older and the medically vulnerable, as vaccine supplies allow.

Due to uncertain and limited vaccination supplies, BayCare is administering all vaccinations by appointment only and in accordance with state guidance.

The State of Florida has assured BayCare it will receive enough vaccines to provide second doses to all individuals who received their first dose of a vaccine from BayCare. Those appointments have or will be scheduled to comply with manufacturer’s guidance and commensurate with vaccine supplies. Patience is very much appreciated.

BayCare encourages patients to keep abreast of all vaccination opportunities in the community. To help you prepare for when vaccines are readily available, BayCare has provided answers below to the most common questions.

Scroll below to see additional vaccine resources in your county.

  • Benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine

    Vaccines have long been a tool to help mitigate the spread of infectious diseases. Vaccines help the body produce antibodies that can fight off a specific disease and has two benefits: It helps prevent people from getting infected and, therefore, it can also help reduce the spread of the disease. Health care experts hope the COVID-19 vaccine will help people from getting seriously ill even if they get infected with COVID-19. However, they recommend that people who get the vaccine should continue to take safety precautions.

  • Types of COVID-19 vaccines

    Several biomedical companies are working on vaccines. There are a few completed vaccines and others still in different phases of clinical trials.

    The vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE has been approved for emergency use authorization by the FDA, and is being distributed across the U.S. This vaccine, which shows to be more than 95 precent effective, may help prevent people age 16 and older from getting infected. Patients receive two doses of this vaccine 21 days apart.

    Another vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. has received emergency use authorization by the FDA, and is being distributed across the country. This vaccine is about 95 percent effective. This vaccine can reduce infections among asymptomatic individuals and could potentially help prevent the spread of the virus from person to person. The Moderna vaccine is given to patients in two different doses 28 days apart.

  • Is the vaccine safe?

    While scientists around the world have raced against time to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, the FDA’s rigorous review classifies them as safe and effective. The vaccines have shown promising results and no major side effects. To help track any issues, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed several tracking tools for people to share any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Who will get the vaccine first?

    The vaccines are being distributed based on guidelines set forth by states and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Due to limited supply, the CDC first made the vaccine available to front-line health care workers and long-term care facility residents. On December 23, the governor of Florida expanded that list to people age 65 and older and the medically vulnerable. We are working with local and state partners to expand the vaccination to other groups as the vaccine and resources become available.

  • Is BayCare providing vaccines?

    In accordance with guidelines from the State of Florida and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), BayCare has begun vaccinating front-line staff members who are caring for COVID-19 patients. BayCare is vaccinating team members with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at various locations across the system. BayCare Medical Group (BMG) is also supporting Florida’s guidelines that prioritize vaccines for those 65 years of age and older. BayCare is also participating in the vaccination of medically vulnerable patients as supplies allow. BayCare will continue to expand access to vaccinations based on guidelines from state and CDC. For the latest updates, visit and this site.

  • How many doses do you need?

    So far, COVID-19 vaccines are given out in two doses, three to four weeks apart. People must receive two doses to ensure they’re protected from getting infected with COVID-19.

  • Who should not get the vaccine?

    There is currently limited data available on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or those under 16 years old. People over 16 years old can receive the COVID vaccine. Individuals with a history of severe allergic reactions to vaccines should check with their physician before getting the vaccine.

  • What are the side effects?

    After the COVID-19 vaccination, some people have reported side effects that went away after a few days. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection. The side effects from COVID-19 vaccination may include redness or swelling where the shot was given, fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills and joint pain.

  • Can you get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

    COVID-19 vaccines will not give people COVID-19. The vaccine protects the human body from getting infected. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination.

  • Does the vaccine have a cost?

    According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines will be given to every American at no cost. However, providers who administer the vaccine will be able to charge an administration fee for giving the shot to someone. Vaccine providers can get this fee reimbursed by the patient’s insurance or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.

  • Should I stop my safety precautions?

    While vaccinations have started, people need to continue to practice safety measures.

Other COVID-19 Vaccine Options

Other COVID-19 vaccine options are provided throughout the area. For the most accurate information concerning other vaccine options and registration requirements, please select from the following:

Other Vaccine Resources


Coronavirus News and Updates

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine developments, visit