Tampa to get federal COVID-19 vaccine site, 1 of 4 in Florida

Tampa is one of four cities in Florida that will be getting a federal COVID-19 vaccination site next month, despite the governor’s previous criticism of the plan.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that sites in Tampa, Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville will open March 3 as part of a partnership with FEMA, the Department of Defense, and state health offices.

These are separate sites from the existing state- and county-run vaccine sites, but will utilize the current myvaccine.fl.gov preregistration system to schedule appointments.

Appointments will be available to frontline health care workers and Floridians ages 65 and older. 

According to the governor’s office, each site will administer 2,000 vaccines per day, seven days a week. Each allocation will also support two smaller, mobile satellite sites that will each deliver 500 vaccinations per day in underserved areas.

Tampa’s primary location will be at the city's old greyhound racetrack on East Waters Avenue.

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine distribution information in Tampa Bay area counties

DeSantis, who has rejected CDC recommendations about vaccine distribution, last month characterized the federal vaccination plan as "FEMA camps" that were "not necessary" in Florida.

DeSantis on COVID-19 vaccine site controversy: ‘I wouldn’t be complaining’

After some Manatee County commissioners criticized the decision-making behind the state’s vaccine pop-up site in "whitest and richest" Lakewood Ranch, Gov. Ron DeSantis had one simple message: If you don’t want it, it will be given to another county.