Nearly 600 get COVID vaccine at Tampa church as part of state pilot program

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH CO. (WFLA) — Approximately 590 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered at a church in Tampa Sunday.

The vaccination site was created through a partnership with St. John’s Progressive Missionary Baptist Church.

This site was opened in partnership with the City of Tampa, Florida Department of Health and Florida Division of Emergency Management.

As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the state and in the Tampa Bay area, the number of vaccines is getting fewer. Now the question is, when will more doses arrive?

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County gave almost 600 vaccinations at St. John Progressive Missionary Baptist Church Sunday. It’s part of Governor Ron DeSantis’ directive to identify places of worship in underserved communities where the vaccine can be administered.

The pilot program is expected to expand as the state receives more vaccinations, but the current locations are:

  • St. John Progressive Missionary Baptist Church
    2504 Chipco St.
    Tampa, FL 33605
  • Lynn Haven Senior Center
    905 Pennsylvania Ave.
    Lynn Haven, FL 32444
  • New Mount Olive Baptist Church
    400 NW 9th Ave.
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
  • Koinonia Worship Center
    4900 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd
    Hollywood, FL 33023
  • Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
    501 W. Orange Ave.
    Tallahassee, FL 32310
  • St. Bernadette Catholic Church
    350 NW California Blvd.
    Port St. Lucie, FL 34986
  • St. Matthew Baptist Church
    3811 Moncrief Rd.
    Jacksonville, FL 32209

Dr. Douglas Holt said that last week the department gave vaccinations to almost 9,000 people.

Right now, they’re going to places where people need the vaccine most but have the least access to it. He said the department expects more doses this week, but he’s asking people to remain patient.

Holt added that the department knows last week was challenging for many people trying to register for a vaccine, but they want people to know that every dose that comes into the county will go out immediately.

“No vaccine will be left, if it comes in this county we’re getting it out,” Holt said. 

He says the plan is to open up more appointment times this week.

Holt also highlighted the importance of getting communities of color vaccinated. He said they’re at greater risk of getting infected and are more vulnerable to more severe infections.

“It is essential that our communities of color be the first round,” he said.

Burton Hamilton was like many people last week, in that he was searching all over for a COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments in Hillsborough County filled fast. Luckily, he got his spot in line at St. John Progressive Missionary Baptist Church.

“It went pretty fast, compared to some people who say they wait, I’ve been here 40 minutes,” Hamilton said. 

Hamilton is now looking forward to his second dose, but he’s not letting his guard down.

“I feel more energized, more super now since I got it, but I won’t go without wearing a mask.”

Those who received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine will return on January 31, 2021, for their second dose.

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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