Feb 22, 2021 - News

Federal vaccine distribution arriving in Tampa

Illustration of a chalkboard with a an equation featuring the covid vaccine plus a syringe equals a smiley face

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The federal government is opening a mass COVID-19 vaccination site at the Tampa Greyhound Track on Waters Avenue near I-275 on March 3, operating 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It will, alongside three others in Florida, be capable of administering about 12,000 shots a day.

Why it matters: FEMA has been working with states to open several large-scale vaccination sites around the country. Florida is one of five states to get a federal site.

Context: Gov. Ron DeSantis was initially negative about President Biden’s idea of using FEMA to build vaccination clinics, calling it a "big mistake." He later said he would help with distribution.

The big picture: The White House said the sites were chosen based on each area’s score on the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index.

What they're saying: Mayor Jane Castor told Axios that the site, near Tampa's Sulphur Springs community, was selected to allow easy access for walk-up vaccinations from an area with many Black residents.

  • "It is absolutely wonderful," Castor said. "We wanted to choose a location ... so we could provide vaccinations to neighborhoods that had the most highly affected COVID-19 populations."

This story first appeared in the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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