Tampa FEMA site uses full vaccine supply on first day of 50+ eligibility


TAMPA (WFLA) – With walk-ups welcome to get the coronavirus vaccine, Kimberly wheeled herself to the main FEMA site at Tampa’s Greyhound track late Monday afternoon.

“There’s so many people because they dropped the age group,” she said. “People want to get it and I’m so glad to see it.”

But by the time Kimberly arrived around 6 p.m., Tampa police officers had started turning people away because the site ran out of its daily supply. This was the first day anyone older than 50 years of age became eligible in Florida.

Kimberly said she is still determined to get protection from the virus.

“This way its coming down hill,” she said of the ride in her wheelchair. “Going this way its gonna be a little harder but that’s ok because I want my vaccine and I want to feel safe again and I wanna be around my grandchildren.”

Vaccine recipients have told 8 On Your Side they’ve found it convenient to not need an appointment at the FEMA vaccination sites. But that will change on Wednesday when the federally run sites shift their focus to providing second dose vaccinations.

“If you are coming for your second dose, please make sure you bring your CDC card that tells your information about your first dose, bring your I.D. so we can verify who you are,” FEMA site director, Carole Covey.

Anyone wanting their first dose of the vaccine by visiting myvaccine.fl.gov and make an appointment as long as they are in an approved category by the State of Florida to be eligible for the vaccine.

Still in need of her first dose, Kimberly said officials told her to try again first thing Tuesday morning when the site opens at 7 a.m.

“And go right up to the table here and Since I’m in a wheelchair they said they should get me right in,” she said.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management announced Monday afternoon they would still provide FEMA locations up to 500 first dose vaccines per day. This is down significantly from their original allotment.

If first shots are no longer available at the FEMA locations, other options include retail pharmacies, county and state run vaccinations sites.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

April 24 2021 08:00 am

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