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Lawmakers working to bring extra traffic assistance to University Mall COVID-19 Vaccination Site

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Posted at 3:54 AM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 07:53:45-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Local and state lawmakers are working to offer some relief to surrounding businesses along Fowler Avenue that are feeling the impact of traffic backups at the University Mall vaccine site.

This comes as ABC Action News has received multiple complaints about traffic backups.

We also talked with many of you out waiting to be vaccinated and saw some of the issues firsthand.

"They called us yesterday and told us to be here at 10:30 and 10:15, no later, no sooner, and we got into this and we’ve been here about five hours," said Dave Wilson, who was waiting to be vaccinated at the site on Thursday.

These hours-long traffic back-ups at the vaccination site, which is supported by the state, have led to traffic spilling out onto the very busy Fowler Avenue.

“I would have stayed home had I known we’d go through this mess," one woman waiting in line told us.

Tampa City Councilman Luis Viera says he's seen firsthand how hard it is for customers to get in and out of the surrounding businesses due to the traffic problems around the site.

"These businesses have taken hit after hit after hit," Viera said.

Now, Viera, along with Representative Fentrice Driskoll and Hillsborough County Commissioner Gwen Myers are working together to get additional traffic assistance in that area.

We just want to make sure that the surrounding businesses, that have already taken so many hits over the last year due to COVID-19, are not overly adversely affected, due to this vaccination site being there," Viera said.

State and local leaders say they are still working with different departments to see what that help may be available.

In the meantime, there were hardly any lines at the vaccination site on Monday, which may be because it was President's Day.

Remember, you need to have an appointment to be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine at the University Mall site.

If you got your first dose at the mall, the state will contact you to make an appointment to get your second dose. Expect a call before the date on your card.

If you don't receive a call, here are your options.