First Lady Jill Biden joins Tampa Bay Lightning for ‘Shots on Ice’ COVID vaccine event

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, AdventHealth and the Tampa Bay Lightning joined forces to hold a COVID-19 vaccine clinic on the ice at Amalie Arena on Thursday.

During her visit, the first lady – who was joined by Dr. Anthony Fauci – said only 44% of adult Floridians are fully vaccinated; 64% have gotten at least one shot.

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"You all know that is just not enough," she said. "Your lives, and your health, matter to me and your president."

The president's hope had been that 70% of all adults would have gotten a shot by July 4th, a number that is now at 65%.

Dequitia Parker, who works at Metro Ministries in Tampa, was given the first shot of the clinic as Dr. Biden looked on. She said she waited so long because she had been worried about the vaccine's safety.

Encouraged by experiences of friends and family, she was one of 70 who got vaccinated during the clinic, which was held on a covered-over portion of the rink at Amalie Arena.

"I was going to get it done," Parker said. "Knowing the First Lady was going to be there, I was like oh my gosh. Her being there showed this was a good decision to make."

Dr. Fauci said local vaccine drives are critical to ending the pandemic.

"A domestic response must depend on the local response. That's what everyone here in this arena is doing."

AdventHealth says those who are not vaccinated make up the overwhelming majority of those in their COVID wards.

"The vaccines work because the people getting sick are those that are not protected," said Dr. Robin McGuinness, the senior executive officer of patient outcomes for AdventHealth West Florida.

She says doctors are still trying to understand what is behind vaccine hesitancy.

"We are doing our best to try to give people information, access to research, trying to steer them to trusted advisors, their physicians, their clergy."

The first lady is hoping her presence will give a high-profile push to those still on the fence, even though she's a Flyers fan.

"There are some things that transcend even hockey," said Dr. Biden.