Changes in vaccine program leads to questions in Hillsborough County


TAMPA (WFLA) – Changes in the administration of the vaccine program have led to questions and concerns for people trying to set up appointments to get vaccinated.

Debba Ely was concerned when she first heard her vaccine would be given out at University Mall in Tampa. She knew a county distribution of the vaccine at that location was shutting down.

“It seemed a little good to be true,” said Ely.

She grew more concerned when she called a phone number to set up the appointment.

“We were thinking it was some kind of scam and the information they asked from us, they asked for our mother’s maiden name which seemed a little bit sketchy to us as well,” said Ely.

Hillsborough County says the phone system and the vaccine distribution location are legitimate and now being run by the state.

“It’s not a scam. So what happened is this site was originally a county supported site, after the first week when it ran so well, we were contacted from state officials, from state emergency management, and they reached out and stated they would like to use this site as the state-supported site,” said Katja Miller who says the automated phone system is also just part of the registration system.

“The system is going to ask them to provide their name, their name, their phone number, their date of birth, and that they are going to receive a call back,” said Miller.

Many Hillsborough County residents have also expressed concerns about getting their second dose of the vaccine because several vaccine locations that had been run by the county are no longer taking appointments.

Miller says if you received your first dose of the vaccine at a county location, you will return to that same location for your second dose.

According to the Hillsborough County website on COVID-19; People who received their first injection at any of Hillsborough County’s public vaccination sites (Ed Radice Sports Complex, Strawberry Festival grounds, University Mall, or Vance Vogel Sports Complex) on Jan. 6-9 or Jan. 13-15 will be able to return to those sites for their second dose. In the coming days, these individuals will be contacted to confirm their second appointment.

People returning for second doses must bring a photo ID with their name and date of birth (for example a Florida driver’s license, state-issued ID, or passport), and the COVID-19 Vaccine Record Card that was issued at the time of the first injection.

“The two authorized and recommended vaccines to prevent COVID-19 in the United States both need two doses to be most effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state of Florida has assured counties, including Hillsborough, that there will be enough vaccine in the state’s inventory to provide these second doses.”

Anyone wishing to set up a new appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine can call (866) 200-3896.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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