ORLANDO, Florida – Florida will receive four COVID-19 vaccination sites beginning March 3, Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Friday.
What you need to know
- Federal sites will be open 7 days a week and deliver 2,000 vaccines a day
- The sites will also have two mobile satellite sites where vaccines can be distributed to underserved areas
- You need to pre-register with the state vaccination center
- HOW TO GET THE COVID-19 Vaccine: In Central Florida | In Tampa Bay
The locations are in Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa and will deliver 2,000 vaccines daily. Each site will also have two mobile satellite sites where 500 vaccines per day will be distributed even in underserved areas.
“My first recommendation, as many of you know, was to send us the cans because we have the infrastructure. You want to do this through FEMA. So we said, see if there are any extra cans for Florida, so we want to participate. ” Governor DeSantis said.
The locations are at the following locations:
- Tampa Greyhound Track
755 E. Waters Ave.,
Tampa, FL, 33604
- Valencia College – West Campus
- 1800 S. Kirkman Rd.,
Orlando, FL, 32811
- Gateway Mall
5200 Norwood Ave.,
Jacksonville, FL, 32208
- Miami Dade Community College (North Campus)
11380 NW 27th Ave.,
Miami, FL, 33167
The sites open on March 3rd and will be open seven days a week from 7am to 7pm
The sites work through a partnership between FEMA, the Department of Defense, the Florida Department of Health, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and the Florida National Guard.
“The federal government will immediately deploy teams working hand-in-hand with state and local jurisdictions to set these sites up. We anticipate they will all be operational in the next two weeks.” said Andy Slavitt, Senior White House Advisor on COVID-19 Response.
Many Florida seniors have not yet received their COVID-19 vaccine, like 75-year-old Kathleen Burks.
She says she tries to book an appointment every day. It’s a problem that many Central Floriders have encountered.
“You dial the number and it sounds like she’s turning around and not,” said the Orange County resident. “You wait, you hang up and you choose them again. Until you feel like you’ve lasted all day. “
In just a few weeks, she says, she will now be trying to get a vaccine less than a mile from her home at the Valencia College site in Orlando. It will be worth waiting for them.
“I’m not going to give up because I know I need it,” said Burks. “I’m a diabetic so I know I need it.”
Representative Val Demings, D-Orlando, released a statement on the Orlando location.
“This new vaccination center is proof that the new government is making the rapid, fair and efficient distribution of vaccines a top priority,” Demings said in a statement released by her office.
During a COVID-19 response team briefing at the White House, federal officials said they worked closely with states to select locations.
“We are doing outreach and we are actually receiving. We are trying to address the specific needs of the states. We are specifically looking at the social vulnerability index where these websites could lead,” said Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Orlando Commissioner Bakari Burns wants everyone to get the vaccine, including those without internet access or transportation and those facing other barriers. As an elected official and CEO of Orange Blossom Family Health, he knows that some Central Florids face more barriers than others in gaining access to the vaccine.
58,261 white members of the Orange County ward were vaccinated on Tuesday, compared with 7,233 blacks, Burns said. He is optimistic that the Valencia West vaccination center will reduce this inequality.
“Up until that point there has been a huge variation in the number of African Americans who will receive the vaccine,” he said.
“I am encouraged that the website is much more accessible to color communities,” he added.
But Burns still has fair distribution concerns and believes local clinics that are embedded in the community could help fill the void if they can get doses. Until then, he plans to explore other avenues, including educational offerings and mobile clinics, to reach seniors who need not one but two appointments to get a full vaccination.
To register for the vaccine at these locations, you must pre-register with the state vaccination center.
The federal government has been working to open vaccination centers across the country to expedite vaccine distribution. Two locations opened in California earlier this month.
Starting March 3rd, a new nationwide vaccination center # COVID19 is coming to the Tampa Greyhound Track at 755 E. Waters Ave. They give seniors 2,000 shots a day. Registrations can be made at https://t.co/m1X5Pri5qH @ BN9 pic.twitter.com/zqg7nOBKdq
– Angie Angers (@angie_angers) February 19, 2021
Reporter Rachael Krause contributed to this story.