More Floridians get COVID-19 vaccine as eligibility opens to people 40+

Posted at 5:53 PM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 17:53:00-04

TAMPA, Fla. — More Floridians rolled up their sleeves to get a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as the state expanded eligibility Monday to people age 40 and up.

That meant the wait for the vaccine was over for people just like Amanda Jusino.

“I was three years below the 50 [years old] cut off,” said Jusino. “So super happy, one step closer to being able to see family and friends all over again.”

At the federally-supported Tampa Greyhound Track vaccination site, people lined up car after car waiting patiently for their shot at the vaccine.


“I’m young and healthy, but I feel like I would like to see the light at the end of the tunnel for everybody who’s suffering right now," said Andrew Demil, who got the vaccine.

People who got the vaccine told ABC Action News the Tampa Greyhound site ran efficiently on Monday, while site coordinators explained things were running smoothly.

The state also announced the four federally-supported vaccination sites in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and Miami will stay open four more weeks and will now close on May 26. The state says the sites will be able to administer 3,000 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine a day.

“As far as our vaccine allotment right now at this site, we have 3,000 doses of Pfizer for the first dose, and we have 2,000 doses of Pfizer for the second dose, so a total of 5,000 doses of Pfizer at this site we’re able to give out,” said Carole Covey, the Tampa Greyhound Track site incident commander.

More shots went into arms across Tampa Bay as well. Community Health Centers of Pinellas came out to vaccinate employees at Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA).

“These people are our community heroes. They’re out there on the front line every day,” said Pat Gerard, the PSTA board chair. “Most people don’t think about bus drivers and people who work for the transit system as vulnerable or necessary, but they certainly are.”

As the state prepares for yet another eligibility change next week, people who got the shot Monday hope others take their chance when they get it.

“Go get your vaccine. Get your vaccine. That’s how we’ll get back to life,” said Jusino.