Johnson & Johnson mobile vaccination pop-up sites draw hundreds in Tampa

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — As the demand for the COVID-19 vaccine grows, so does the demand for the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine.

There are several pop-up vaccine sites taking place this weekend across Tampa Bay, including one at Centennial Park and one at ENCORE! District Saturday.

Dametrahl Martin waited in line for a little more than a hour at the Centennial Park site. She got the vaccine not just for herself.

“I help an elderly man so he got vaccinated I need to too to protect him and myself,” Martin said. “It is going to give me peace of mind but I’m still going to be cautious.”

Kristin Gousee with the Florida Department of Emergency Management says the agency has three mobile buses that go out every day. Each bus carries 400 doses of Johnson & Johnson.

“We’re going into communities that are far away from the hub site or underserved communities to make sure everyone has equal access to the vaccine,” Gousee said.

Other states are pausing the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after some people who received the shot experienced negative reactions.

States like Georgia, North Carolina, and Colorado have put a pause on giving the vaccine. Adding to the Johnson & Johnson troubles, next week there’s expected to be a shortage of the one-dose shot. Officials estimate there could be an 80 percent drop in J&J shipments.

“So far we’re monitoring and keeping track as far as stats and what percentage are having adverse reactions if we’re seeing more than Pfizer or Moderna so we’re collecting that data,” Gousee said.

Martin says getting the shot at least gives her a sense of security. 

“I am concerned about it a little but at the same time it’s trial and error but if it’s available, you should get it,” Martin said.

Pop up sites Sunday are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Curtis Hixon Park, located at 600 N. Ashley Drive; Hyde Park, located at702 S. Albany Avenue; and Greater Bethel Missionary, located at 1207 N. Jefferson Street.

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