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COVID-19 Vaccination Information

Adults age 18 and older can now register for the COVID-19 Vaccine Standby Pool at Only those who meet eligibility requirements (currently adults 40 and older) will be scheduled for appointments. 

Those who are deemed extremely vulnerable by a physician (form required) may now schedule appointments for vaccination at the Department of Health in Manatee County or at select CVSPublixWalgreensWalmart and Winn-Dixie locations in Manatee County. Individuals will need to register with each site and determine requirements. 

Extremely vulnerable patients: If you believe you fall into this category of patient, please work with your physician or primary care provider to learn if you're eligible to be vaccinated. You will need a COVID-19 Determination of Extreme Vulnerability Form from your physician.

With this form, you can be vaccinated at a local hospital, pharmacy (see list above) or at the Department of Health. You can book an appointment to get vaccinated at the Health Department by calling (941) 242-6646. Appointments will be booked from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at DOH-Manatee, located at 410 Sixth Avenue East in Bradenton.

Manatee County will continue using its current vaccination enrollment process at instead of opting into a new statewide registration system at this time.

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

Is the COVID-19 Vaccine covered by the Health Plan?

The COVID-19 vaccine is paid for by the Federal Government. Any fees charged for administration of the vaccine are covered 100% by Manatee YourChoice Health Plan regardless of where you receive the vaccine.


Where Can I get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Supply is currently limited and being offered to first responders and at-risk individuals including the elderly. When the vaccine is more widely available, you will be able to get the vaccine at your doctor’s office, pharmacy, hospital, and health centers. Regardless of where you receive the vaccine, it is covered by the Health Plan.


How Does the Vaccine Work? [from CDC & Arthur J. Gallagher Clinical Pharmacy Division]

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines are a “mRNA vaccine” which means it contains “messaging code” that tells our bodies to create the “COVID spike protein.” When your cells release the “COVID spike protein,” your immune system will form antibodies without patients becoming sick. This means that you cannot get the Coronavirus (Covid-19) from the vaccine. Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19 (95%).

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a different approach called adenovirus technology. It works in a similar way as the others and you cannot get the Coronavirus (Covid-19) from the vaccine. While it is slightly less effective (aprox 85% effective after 28 days), it is still considered a highly effective vaccine and only requires one shot.


The Vaccine Is New – Is It Safe? [from Arthur J. Gallagher Clinical Pharmacy Division]

  • Many people are concerned about the vaccine being new and previously untested. However, mRNA technology is not entirely new. It has been studied and used in cancer as well as being studied for other Coronaviruses. It has not been widely used because those viruses never reached pandemic proportions. Johnson & Johnson's technology is also fairly new but is also used for J&J's Ebola vaccine.
  • Many people are concerned about the relative speed in which it was developed.
    • Because we are in a global pandemic, much of the “red tape” in the drug approval process was cut, and in contrast, significant technology and funding was added. Normally, there would be months of waiting in each phase of clinical trials, whereas this was addressed as the number 1 priority. 
    • The number of people tested is on par, and in many cases better, than vaccines that are currently available.
  • Others are concerned about side effects that have not been seen yet. In general, most vaccines show symptoms in the first 6 weeks. Severe symptoms are extremely rare and have been shown in people who already have severe allergic reactions to start. Furthermore, the risk of medical complications from getting the virus is far greater than the risk of taking the vaccine.

Get more facts from the CDC at


Where Can I learn More About the Vaccine?

The CDC has resources available that explain the science of the vaccine and how it works. There are currently three vaccines approved in the US and there are some differences and some potential allergic reactions you should be aware of. Consult with your doctor if you have questions regarding whether or not you should get the vaccine.



COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 tests are available at no cost to you at several locations throughout Manatee and Sarasota Counties regardless if you have symptoms. For the most up-to-date listing, visit

Manatee YourChoice Health Plan members can also visit The Center for Urgent Care at Lakewood Ranch Blvd & S.R. 70 or Ellenton Urgent Care on US-301 just west of I-75 for a no-cost test.

If you have symptoms, your doctor’s office or some local pharmacies may also offer a COVID-19 test at no charge. However, consultation with a doctor or additional testing may incur additional charges.

If you require a test for travel purposes, first determine the type of test you need. Because requirements and timeframes are always changing, please contact the testing location directly to inquire if the test is available, can be processed in the required timeframe, and what your out of pocket costs may be. 


Manatee YourChoice is Here to Help

As always, our team of Advocates are here to help answer your questions. You can contact a Nurse Advocate at 941-741-2963, option 3 or a Pharmacy Advocate at 941-748-4501 x6406.