TAMPA, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis says the federal COVID-19 vaccination sites will be open to law enforcement and teachers age 50 and up once they begin operating around the state on March 3.
Gov. DeSantis made the announcement during a press conference Tuesday morning in Hialeah while sharing that CVS Pharmacies would begin administering vaccines across the state, including at locations in Hillsborough, Manatee and Polk counties.
Florida will soon have four federal vaccine sites in Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and Miami.
What You Need To Know
- New vaccine sites will be open to law enforcement and teachersage 50 and up starting March 3
- 4 federal vaccines sites will administer 2,000 vaccines per day
- Education Association President Andrew Spar said announcement is step in the right direction
- HOW TO GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE: In Central Florida | In Tampa Bay
They will be administering 2,000 vaccines a day.
The sites are set to open March 3 and will run seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Tampa site will be at the Tampa Greyhound Track located at 755 E Waters Avenue.
Governor DeSantis said seniors 65 years and older will still be the priority at those federal sites, but vaccines will also be available for law enforcement and teachers age 50 and older.
“As we get into approval for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and as Pfizer increases its production, we still have seniors to do that’s still the priority, but we can take some and really knock out a lot of these folks potentially pretty quickly. So we’re going to start for sure on these federally supported sites. As new vaccines comes online, then we’ll see what happens,” said DeSantis.
Gov. DeSantis also said during the press conference that firefighters would be able to get vaccines at the federal sites.
Spectrum Bay News 9 spoke to Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar about the announcement. He says it’s a step in the right direction but said all teachers and school employees should be prioritized for the vaccine.
“It finally shows the governor is willing to listen. Unfortunately it doesn’t go far enough,” said Spar. He went on to say, "We have to see more. At the end of the day, we have plenty of teachers under 50 who are high risk. They are literally sacrificing their health every day they go into the schools.”
Spar also says the teachers should be able to get vaccinated at any site, not just the new federal ones. He says teachers in rural communities who do qualify based on their age may not have access to those urban sites.
Spectrum Bay News 9 also spoke to Dr. Jay Wolfson, Professor of Public Health and Medicine at USF Health, to find out his thoughts on this next group of eligible residents.
“I think the firefighters, the police officers and the teachers are front facing essential workers in our community and the governor saying we’re going to move toward them is a really, really important priority,” said Dr. Wolfson.