Walkups now accepted at FEMA vaccination site in Tampa

The new federal COVID-19 vaccine site that opened Wednesday in Tampa began taking walkups Thursday. People without access to a computer or phone can walk up and register in person and get a vaccine.

Here’s how it works: You drive up and get pre-screened. Then you park your car and workers will ask if you’ve registered. Those who have will move a little quicker because they have a specific appointment time.

There were some longer waits Thursday due to the extra traffic but ideally, from the time you park, it should take about 45 minutes to get through.

Workers at the site say, so far, everything is going smoothly. Beyond that, they say it’s been rewarding to see people’s faces as they leave the vaccination tents.

"The best thing is when people come out of the last portion of it… they are so thrilled. It’s been a life-changing event for them," explained Gracia Szczech, FEMA Region IV administrator.

The FEMA vaccination site is at the Tampa greyhound track on Waters Avenue. It is open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced an expansion of the groups who are eligible for vaccines in Florida, which now includes seniors over 65, long-term care residents and staff, healthcare workers, medically vulnerable individuals (a letter from a doctor is required), and first responders and school employees over 50 years old.

For more information and to register, visit myvaccine.fl.gov.

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