Officials sorry for long lines at University Mall vaccine site


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County is trying to prevent a second day of chaos at the University Mall COVID-19 vaccine site.

On Thursday, 8 On Your Side reported that seniors were forced to wait in long lines for their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Some were turned away.

“The system is not working smoothly,” one senior said.

“We’re aware, we apologize, we know it’s frustrating for many, many people. You can see people are agitated, extreme traffic,” said health department spokesman Kevin Walter.

Bette Warter was among the 400 people who showed up to the location looking to get the second shot. Many waited in hours in cars, only to be turned away without getting vaccinated. Some even ran out of gasoline.

“I’m disabled and high risk and I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to get a shot now,” Warter said.

The health department explained that a number of seniors who received their first shot hadn’t scheduled an appointment for their second one, but they showed up to the vaccine site anyway, which caused the issue.

Health officials say seniors must register online for the second dose before showing up for an appointment. Appointments are confirmed within 48 hours.

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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