TAMPA, Fla. - FEMA sites across Florida, including Tampa, are once again offering the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine to patients starting Tuesday morning.
Last week’s Johnson & Johnson pause caused an issue for federal sites because they’d already switched over to giving that vaccine to all first-dose appointments and saving their Pfizer vaccine for those returning for their second shot.
Within the past few days, they’ve readjusted supplies and starting Tuesday, Florida’s four federal sites will go back to giving the Pfizer shot to anyone needing their first dose.
So far, more than 8 million Floridians -- nearly half the adult population in the state -- have received at least one dose of the vaccine, but COVID-19 infections are on the rise again.
Disease experts say we’re in a race against time to prevent another wave of COVID infections. The pause on the Johnson & Johnson has slowed efforts to get people vaccinated.
The federal government is still looking into a rare but serious blood clot issue found among six women who received the single-dose vaccine, but USF disease experts say the risk to the public is extremely low.
"We’re talking about a one in 10 million case if you factor out the ones that would’ve just occurred naturally," said Dr. Thomas Unnasch with USF Health. "It’s a lot better to proceed because the risks of actually having anything happen in anybody are so really really low."
Over the weekend, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he expected the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be cleared for use by Friday.
As of now, Pfizer is the only vaccine manufacturer that has been approved for those 16 and up, and a parent or guardian must be present at the time of the vaccination.