TAMPA, Fla. — Hillsborough County announced Friday it would open a new location for residents to receive a free COVID-19 testing and the Pfizer vaccine, including the booster shot for those who meet the requirements.
"We're assessing to see if there's going to be a very large demand," said Hillsborough County’s Office of Emergency Management Deputy Director, Iñaki Rezola.
Starting Monday, October 4, the new site will open at Progress Village Park. The address of the location is 8701 Progress Blvd., Tampa, Florida 33619 and it will be open daily from 8 am to 5 pm.
The county did ask residents to make an appointment to receive a free vaccine or a booster shot. Appointments can be made starting at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1 at this link.
Regular vaccine shots are available to anyone 12 and older and the site will also be offering COVID-19 tests. However, there are specific criteria for those who want a booster shot.
- Fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine
- Received second Pfizer vaccine dose at least six months prior to receiving the booster
"We want people to go to their local pharmacy to get their vaccine shots, but sometimes they can get overwhelmed if there is a demand and that's what happened recently with testing," said Rezola.
The booster shot is recommended for the following people:
- 65 years old or older
- 50 to 64 years old with underlying medical conditions
- Residents in long-term care facilities
- Residents who MAY get booster shots:
- 18-49 years old with underlying medical conditions
- 18-64 years old at increased risk because of occupational or institutional settings
"Obviously we want to take care of those who are 65 and older with underlying medical conditions as a priority, but the reality is we will serve anyone that meets those criteria," said Rezola.
To receive the booster shot, the county said you will also have to provide your vaccination card showing the date the second vaccination was administered.
The new site comes at a time when new COVID-19 cases are decreasing in Florida. It's news that it bringing hope to public health experts in the Tampa Bay area.
"I’m really starting to get really hopeful that we really are at the end of this thing," said University of South Florida Health Professor, Dr. Thomas Unnasch