TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Dozens of cars lined up outside the Tampa Greyhound Track on Wednesday morning, hours before the opening of the first federally-run vaccination site in Tampa.
“I’d rather be the first one in make sure I’m going to get it, then to be like other people I seen on the news, waiting eight hours only to be turned away,” said James McGuire, the first man in line.
The gates opened just after 5 a.m., ahead of schedule.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state had been working with the local government to open four federally-run vaccination sites in Tampa, Orlando, Miami and Jacksonville. The sites will operate seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
FEMA leaders tell 8 On Your Side crews will begin vaccinating people at 8 a.m. They’re expected to administer 2,000 shots per day at each location.
They will allow walk-ups for those without reservations starting Thursday, but ask that people preregister if they can.
McGuire said the process was simple.
“They emailed me gave me a barcode and a number said I could use either one. I took a picture of the barcode on the camera and that’s all you need to show here no appointment times no nothing, just show up. So, I’m hoping that’s true,” he said.
Tampa Greyhound Track is at 755 E. Waters Avenue. FEMA has also set up three remote vaccine sites that will administer shots on different dates. The sites are located at:
- Larry Sand Sports Complex, 5855 S 78th Street in Tampa (March 3 through March 6)
- Lake Maude Nature Park, 1799-1701 7th Street NE in Winter Haven (March 3 through March 10)
- Hillsborough Community College in Brandon (March 7 through March 10)