If you’ve been waiting to get a COVID-19 vaccine, you may be in luck. Local leaders on both sides of the bay tell ABC Action News there are ample appointments available for those who qualify, but the spots may not last long!
Phyllis Fryar got her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday at the North Greenwood Recreation Center in Clearwater. She couldn’t believe how easy it was to get a shot.
“It was great! I’m so sorry more people didn’t show up. I thought it would be full! Prior to coming over, I said 'the line will be so long we’ll wait for two hours.' I got here and it’s almost like you can count the people on one hand,” she said in disbelief.
Leaders on both sides of the bay say now is the time to register for a vaccine and if you had trouble getting an appointment earlier, it may be worthwhile to follow up by calling 844-770-8548.
Dave Connor in Pinellas County’s Communications Department says the situation has changed drastically from what we saw a month ago.
“Finally we’re at this point where there are available appointments. It’s not a question of when will the next appointments come online and when can I get in there? The answer is today,” he elaborated.
Just three weeks ago, ABC Action News took video of a large line wrapped around a Largo vaccination site off of East Bay Drive. Wednesday, the same site did not have any line at all.
Tony DePace received his second vaccine at the Largo location.
“Registering initially was miserable, but then all of a sudden, I got a phone call the next day and bingo! I’m in,” he said with excitement.
In Tampa, for the second day in a row, officials reported there was little to no wait at the federal vaccination site at the Tampa Greyhound Track. That site also has walk-up appointments and allows those considered medically vulnerable, with a form filled out from their doctor, to get a vaccine.
Yet, Governor Ron DeSantis plans to lower the age limit for COVID-19 vaccines to 60 and older starting on Monday, March 15. That could cause demand to go up.
Statewide, the Florida Department of Health says 17% of people have at least received their first dose of the vaccine and they hope that number will go up as shipments increase. Currently, doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are arriving to Florida at double the rate they were a month ago.