Information for Health Care Providers
Collection of diagnostic respiratory specimens (e.g. nasopharyngeal swab) should be performed in a normal examination room with the door closed.
- The health care provider is responsible for specimen collection, handling and shipping. Please follow CDC guidance.
- High priority specimens should be processed within your health care facility, if available; a commercial laboratory (e.g., LabCorp and Quest), or the Florida Bureau of Public Health Laboratory (BPHL).
- Before sending specimens to BPHL, contact your local county health department (CHD) Epidemiology Contacts.
- Priority specimens can be processed within your health care facility, if available; or a commercial laboratory (e.g., LabCorp and Quest).
- Health care providers may consult a local CHD for additional guidance as needed.
Enrollments Required for Health Care Providers to Administer the Vaccine
In order to provide vaccines in Florida, all providers must agree to and sign the Florida SHOTS enrollment form and fill out the COVID Therapeutics Application form. For any questions email email@example.com.
In addition, all COVID-19 Providers in Florida must complete a COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement. Please find information about the agreement here.
Providers who are enrolled in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program and have completed the associated requirements may order COVID-19 vaccines for authorized age groups through Florida SHOTS.
Based on currently available data, patients should be informed of the possible cardiac complications that can arise after receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. The State Surgeon General now recommends against the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines for males ages 18-39 years old. Read the Surgeon General’s guidance for mRNA vaccines.
Related Outreach Materials
Health Care Professionals Eligible to Administer the Vaccine
The list below contains health care professions whose governing practice act or federal guidance authorizes the administration of vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines. If you have specific questions regarding a profession, please contact the respective regulatory board office at MedicalQualityAssurance@flhealth.gov.
|Medical Doctors||Section 458.305(3), Florida Statutes|
|Osteopathic Physicians||Section 459.003(3), Florida Statutes|
|Physician Assistants||Section 459.022(4)(e), Florida Statutes
Section 458.347(4)(e), Florida Statutes
|Registered Nurses||Section 464.003(19), Florida Statutes|
|Advanced Practice Registered Nurses||Section 464.003(2), Florida Statutes|
|Licensed Practical Nurses||Section 464.003(18), Florida Statutes|
|Certified Nursing Assistant with Registered Nurse Delegation||Section 464.201(5), Florida Statutes|
|Paramedics||Section 401.272(2)(b), Florida Statutes|
|Pharmacists||Section 465.189, Florida Statutes|
|Registered Pharmacy Interns||Section 465.189, Florida Statutes|
|Registered Pharmacy Technicians||Health and Human Services Guidance Memorandum Dated 10/21/2020|
COVID-19 Treatment Information
Oral antiviral – Paxlovid
Paxlovid is an oral treatment that consists of nirmatrelvir tablets co-packaged and co-administered with ritonavir tablets. Paxlovid treatment must be initiated as soon as possible after COVID-19 diagnosis, within five days of symptom onset.
Recently, the FDA released a Patient Eligibility Screening Checklist as an aid for providers. If a patient is unable to take paxlovid due to medical history, concomitant medications, or other drugs with established or potentially significant interactions, providers should consider remdesivir or molnupiravir.
Nirmatrelvir, the main protease inhibitor in paxlovid, maintained antiviral activity against the Omicron BA.1 variant in vitro.
Dosage and administration:
- Paxlovid is administered orally as 300 mg nirmatrelvir (two 150 mg tablets) with 100 mg ritonavir (one 100 mg tablet), with all three tablets taken together twice daily for five days
- Paxlovid may be administered with or without food
For more information about Paxlovid, click here.
Oral Antiviral – Molnupiravir
Molnupiravir is an oral antiviral treatment that must be initiated as soon as possible after COVID-19 diagnosis, within five days of symptom onset. Due to efficacy concerns, providers should only prescribe Molnupiravir when other treatment options, such as paxlovid or remdesivir, are inappropriate or unavailable.
In vitro studies showed that molnupiravir retains activity against COVID-19 variants of concern, including Omicron. Molnupiravir is expected to work against Omicron and other emerging variants because its mechanism of action is independent of mutations in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.
Dosage and administration:
- Molnupiravir is administered orally as 800 mg (four 200 mg capsules) every 12 hours for five days, with or without food
For more information about Molnupiravir, click here.
Intravenous Antiviral – Remdesivir
Remdesivir, under the tradename VEKLURY, is now FDA approved as an out-patient early treatment option for patients diagnosed with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 and are at a high risk of severe disease. Remdesivir should be initiated within 7 days of symptom onset.
A randomized controlled trial, published in January 2022, showed that early treatment with remdesivir “resulted in an 87% lower risk of hospitalization or death” when compared to placebo.
The recommended out-patient treatment consists of a three-day course within seven days of COVID-19 symptom onset.
- Adults and pediatric patients weighing at least 40 kg: a single loading dose of VEKLURY 200 mg on day one followed by once daily maintenance doses of VEKLURY 100 mg from day two via intravenous infusion
- Pediatric patients 28 days of age and older and weighing 3 kg to less than 40 kg: a single loading dose of VEKLURY 5 mg/kg on day one followed by once-daily maintenance doses of VEKLURY 2.5 mg/kg from day two via intravenous infusion
For more information about Remdesivir, click here.
Use of Emerging and Off-Label Treatments
When recommending COVID-19 treatment options for patients’ individualized health care needs, physicians should exercise their individual clinical judgment and expertise based on their patients’ needs and preferences.
These options may include emerging treatments backed by quality evidence, with appropriate patient informed consent, including off-label use or as part of a clinical trial. As guidance continues to evolve, health care practitioners should sustain and maintain in-depth awareness of the data surrounding COVID-19 treatment options.
Reporting Noncompliant and Unlicensed Facilities
If you are a health care practitioner who is aware of a hospital that is preventing licensed health care providers from using evidence-based care and exercising clinical judgment in treating patients, please report those instances to the Agency for Health Care Administration.
Read the Surgeon General’s full guidance for emerging and off-label treatments.
Providers are encouraged to frequently monitor Florida Department of Health and CDC websites for updated guidance on COVID-19.
- Information for Pediatric Healthcare Providers – CDC Website
- Information for Healthcare Professionals – CDC Website
To provide vaccines in Florida.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization are reliable and up-to-date sources of information about this evolving outbreak.
For Florida specific information, please consult the Florida Department of Health website.