NewsPinellas County


Pinellas County opens third vaccine site, plans to open final site Wednesday morning

Posted at 6:05 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 18:05:10-05

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — Even with her mask on, you can see Bonnie Davis' excitement as she leaves the Pinellas Park Auditorium.

"I have never been so excited to get a shot in my life," she said.

Of course, she's talking about the coronavirus vaccine. She says the process of getting an appointment has been stressful, but worth it.

"When I got online and the thing started going, and I got into appointments, I was like it's going to happen," she said. "I'm going to get an appointment!"

She was one of the 400 people who got their vaccine at the Pinellas Park Auditorium Tuesday afternoon. It's the latest vaccine location in the county.

"I'm excited," Tom Iovino said. "It's going exceptionally smoothly."

Iovino is the spokesperson for the Pinellas County Health Department. He said the county will open its fourth and final site Wednesday morning.

The county's goal is to start vaccinating at least 2,000 people a day.

One of the big questions some have: Why have multiple indoor locations, instead of outdoor drive-thru locations like Hillsborough and Pasco Counties?

"We want to keep things easy to get to," he said. "You don't need a car to get to these locations. You can take the bus, or walk-in if you live close enough."

Davis and others say they like the county's set up.

"All of the people in there were wonderful, and just as excited as we are," she said. "And it was efficient."

Iovino credits the county for having other departments step in to help with the process. He says he's relieved to know that Publix is stepping in to start giving vaccines, and with the governor's plan to have local places of worship open for vaccine distributions.

"With 250,000 people over the age of 65, it's going to take a community effort," he said.

As for Bonnie, she and her husband are set to get their second dose of the vaccine in February. She will get hers on the 9th and he will get his on the 10th.

"I said, what do we want to do first? One thing we're really excited about is being able to go to church again," she said, with a huge smile on her face.

They haven't been to church in a year, and they haven't been able to fly to see their kids and grandkids.

"I said we need to make a list of all the places we want to go and things we want to do," Bonnie said.