Florida’s FEMA COVID-19 vaccination sites get extension to continue operations

Sites will operate through May 26

Ongoing COVID-19 vaccinations at the FEMA site at Valencia College on March 5, 2021. (Image: Nadeen Yanes/WKMG)
Ongoing COVID-19 vaccinations at the FEMA site at Valencia College on March 5, 2021. (Image: Nadeen Yanes/WKMG) (WKMG 2021)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Those wishing to get the COVID-19 vaccine at one of the FEMA sites across the state will now have longer to do so.

The four sites, including the one at Valencia College’s west campus on Kirkman Road, were slated to close on April 28, which meant they would have stopped performing first doses on April 7 in order to allow time for all recipients to return for their second dose before the site was shut down.

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With the new extension, the sites will continue operating through May 26.

Starting Monday, all four sites will offer 3,000 first doses per day at each of the four locations thanks to Gov. Ron DeSantis asking the Florida Division of Emergency Management and Florida Department of Health to reallocate state vaccine supply to those sites.

News 6 has contacted the Florida Department of Health for additional information on when first doses will no longer be offered. This story will be updated when and if a reply is received.

“These large, federally-supported sites are a critical part of the state’s efforts to expand vaccine access as more Floridians become eligible for the vaccine. Each of these sites was opened in order to provide the vaccine in underserved communities, and Florida was the first state in the nation to open large federal sites using a walk-up model and was the first state to use a hub and spoke model to reach more underserved areas,” the Florida Department of Health said in a news release.

The sites opened March 3 and were originally designed to stay open for only eight weeks and initially provided 2,000 shots per day. So far, 300,000 individuals have gotten inoculated at the FEMA sites.

In addition to the larger sites, two smaller mobile units go into underserved communities and provide 1,000 shots daily directly to the residents there.

The announcement of the extension came Monday as vaccine eligibility expanded to include anyone 40 and older in addition to child care workers, health care workers, residents and staff at long-term care facilities, certain first responders and those deemed medically vulnerable.

Any Floridian 18 and older, plus 16- and 17-year-olds for the Pfizer formula, will be eligible on April 5.

As of the most recent numbers available, 3,075,333 are fully vaccinated.

Below are the locations of the four FEMA vaccination sites in Florida:

  • Tampa Greyhound Track - 755 E. Waters Ave., Tampa
  • Valencia College’s West Campus - 1800 S. Kirkman Road, Orlando
  • Gateway Mall - 5200 Norwood Ave., Jacksonville
  • Miami Dade Community College’s North Campus- 11380 NW 27th, Miami

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