Federal Mass Vaccination Centers to be Set Up in Florida

vaccination florida
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Four federal mass vaccination sites are coming to Florida, officials said Friday.

Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville will be the locations of the new Community Vaccine Centers, according to a White House news release.

The cities and locations were selected based on their proximity to vulnerable populations and officials estimate that the four centers will give up to 12,000 shots a day in total.

The locations are Miami-Dade Community College, TGT Poker & Racebook in Tampa, Valencia Community College in Orlando, and Gateway Town Center in Jacksonville.

The four federally supported sites in Florida will open March 3 and operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

So far, just over 3.7 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Florida. Since the pandemic began last year, more than 1.8 million Floridians have been infected, and nearly 30,000 people have died.

On Friday, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced that her agency is launching a bilingual vaccine education campaign to encourage COVID-19 vaccination among the state’s farmworkers. She noted that people in the agricultural community are among the most at risk for dying from COVID-19, according to a recent University of California study.

Florida had made the vaccines available only to medical workers and people over 65. But on Friday, Jackson Health System, one of the largest in the state, announced it will now vaccinate residents age 55 and older with specific medical conditions including certain cancers, congestive heart failure and those who are morbidly obese.

Broward Mayor Steve Geller also sent a letter to the governor Friday, asking him to expand the eligibility list to include people over 55, law enforcement officers and teachers.

Meanwhile, two women in their thirties were so eager to get the shots that they disguised themselves as grannies in Orlando in an attempt to get shots, officials said.

Dr. Raul Pino from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County said the pair was busted when they tried to get their second shot on Wednesday at the Orange County Convention Center, Click Orlando reported.

Pino said the people administering the vaccines noticed the women “looked funny” and stopped them before they could get the shots. The women were issued trespass warnings from the local sheriff’s department.


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