TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida has reached a major milestone in the statewide distribution of coronavirus vaccines.
Shots are being made available to anyone 16 and older starting Monday.
“It looks like we’re going to have about 42,000 available first doses. That’s a lot of availability for those who want to get their vaccine. 9 in addition to that you still have your retail pharmacies, your Publix, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Winn-Dixie,” said Hillsborough health department spokesman Kevin Watler.
Watler said people can expect to see longer lines as the new age group arrives for vaccinations.
“We have a lot of availability at the Tampa Greyhound Track they have 3,000 first doses each day. The Raymond James Stadium has 1600 first doses each day and the Children’s Board that has about 250 doses per day,” he said.
The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only one approved for teenagers.
Health officials are emphasizing the importance of getting younger populations vaccinated.
“It’s really super important right now especially for this, the largest cohort of people that have been tested positive to get vaccinated so we can drop transmission. We’re not only protecting ourselves, in this younger rage cohort, but we’re protecting those elderly people who haven’t been able to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Michael Teng with USF Health.
Individuals 16 and 17 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and a consent form in order to receive the shot.
The Tampa Greyhound Track is offering first doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday, but starting Tuesday, it will only offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Watler said most county sites are offering the Pfizer vaccine.
“Make sure you know what your options are. You can either go to our county health department’s website which is hillsborough.floridahealth.gov and we have it all laid out there. Or you can go to hcflgov.net/vaccine,” Watler advises.