SEBRING — Highlands County officials have amended the instructions they gave people who get an appointment for COVID-19 vaccination each week.

Instructions were for people to reply back and confirm their appointment within 24 hours of getting an email or call from the county that they have a set appointment. They no longer have to do that.

The new rule, county officials said, is to reply or call back within 24 hours only if you can’t make the appointment on that day or time. You will not, however, be able to get a new slot that week.

All of the slots for that week are already taken, said Highlands County Public Information Officer Gloria Rybinski. Anyone who cannot make an appointment that week will get put at the head of the list for the following week.

All the rest of the instructions remain the same. Vaccinations are by appointment only at the county’s point of distribution (POD) at Lakeshore Mall, 901 U.S. 27 North in Sebring. People can get registered online at or by phone at 863-402-6780 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on any day — but not on site.

Appointments are from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and registrants will receive a phone call or email, based on the registrant’s preference, from county officials with their appointment day and time.

When they arrive, they will need to allow an hour to get through all the stations, in addition to the time taken in line, and will need to bring identification, wear a face mask at all times and observe social distancing at all times.

This week’s allocation of vaccine from the Florida Department of Health is 500 doses, which have been scheduled already.

Officials also ask people to remember that they will not have full immunity until after they receive the second dose of vaccine, approximately 28 days after the first. Until then, they need to continue taking all pandemic precautions.