Pop up site at shelter draws residents, public for COVID-19 vaccines

Posted at 9:52 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 23:25:00-04

TAMPA, Fla. — The Salvation Army in Tampa is a place people might turn to for shelter. On Wednesday, it’s a place they turned to for a COVID-19 vaccine.

That’s thanks to a state vaccination site held in the parking lot, part of an effort to bring mobile vaccination clinics across the state to increase access.

“Everybody should feel a little sigh of relief,” said Randall Haval.

It worked out well for Haval, who says he stays at the Salvation Army.

“I was concerned before because so many of the places you make appointments and then you have to be there and I don’t have any means of transportation unless I get bus passes,” Haval said.

The Salvation Army in Tampa estimates between two events, about 95 percent of people staying there have been vaccinated, bringing renewed energy and hope.

“Reflecting back a year ago where we were and people were losing their jobs and they were coming here because they had lost their jobs to where you’re getting vaccinated today and you’re able to go work again and you’re finding income and finding a steady job, it’s amazing what’s happened in a year,” said Ashley Ramsey, their public relations manager.

The site was open to the public too, who lined up down the street.

“We all wanted to come out and get our shots and do our part,” said Zachary Shindelman, there with three of his childhood friends.

The state says there are two confirmed mobile clinics in Hillsborough County Thursday.

One at DACCO Behavioral Health at 9 a.m. and the other at the Agency for Community Treatment Services at 10 a.m. Each event has the capacity for 400 Johnson & Johnson vaccines.