Federally-supported vaccination sites set to close this week

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Posted at 11:24 PM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 09:37:05-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Site coordinators want to remind people Tuesday, May 25 is the last day for vaccinations at the federally-supported Tampa Greyhound Track COVID vaccination site.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management says the last day federally-supported vaccination sites will administer shots is Tuesday, May 25, and says on Wednesday, May 26, the site will close permanently and begin demobilizing.

Virginia Elston got her second dose on Monday and said the vaccination site has been very convenient.

“Prior to coming here, I was trying to sign up online, and it was confusing, and they didn’t have this, and you had to go here, and to just be able to come here, drive in, and get it done was very valuable," said Elston.

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The Florida Division of Emergency Management tells ABC Action News to date, the Tampa hub site has administered 155,472 vaccines and says satellite sites associated with the Tampa hub site administered 28,266 vaccines, while operational.

A spokesperson said the sites were intended to be temporary and aimed at increasing vaccine access to historically underserved communities.

“Especially in April and the last half of March, the impact was really tremendous,” said Dr. Thomas Unnasch, a Distinguished USF Health professor.

A site coordinator for the Tampa Greyhound Track site says the demand has gone down lately. ABC Action News asked Dr. Unnasch about current vaccination numbers for Florida.

“Our peak day was on April 11,” said Unnasch. “The seven-day rolling average for vaccinations that day, we were doing about 210,000 doses a day, jabs a day. As of yesterday, which is the last set of numbers that I had, we were down to doing 96,000 doses a day, so we’re down to less than half of our peak at this point in time.”

On Monday, the Florida Department of Health (FLDOH) reported the lowest number of new COVID cases since mid-October, while also reporting the lowest number of Florida residents tested in at least two weeks.

But Dr. Unnasch thinks vaccines are starting to take hold.

“We’re starting to really see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Unnasch.

Public health experts remind people the vaccines are still available elsewhere, while people at the vaccination site on Monday urge others to take their shot if they can.

“All the pharmacies are doing it now. It’s very easy and convenient. Find a way,” said Elston.

The Tampa Greyhound Track site is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.