NewsPolk County


No appointment needed at FEMA coronavirus vaccine sites in Hillsborough and Polk counties

Video Shows What Drive-through Coronavirus Testing Is Like
Posted at 7:01 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 19:01:38-05

LAKELAND, Fla. — Two new FEMA drive-up COVID-19 vaccination sites are up and running in Hillsborough and Polk counties.

There was virtually no wait time at the FEMA drive-up satellite vaccination site at Walker Road Park in Lakeland. Some are even comparing it to going to a Fastfood drive-thru.

“Sit in your car, you get your shot. It don’t get no better than this. It's like going to Checkers or Burger King. You get it your way, you drive in drive out,” said Jerome Hampton of Lakeland.

The Lakeland site is one of two FEMA mobile facilities that opened Thursday. The other is at Hillsborough Community College’s Southshore campus in Ruskin.

They are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and appointments are not required.

“Went to my doctor this morning and she just said, ‘hey FEMA is giving [vaccines] starting today, you don’t have to make appointments to come.’ So, I said that’s great that serves my purpose really well,” said Bibi Seerzawan from Lakeland.

The mobile sites can each administer up to 500 doses a day. The plan is for the two sites to relocate every several days, with the goal of reaching underserved communities in the Tampa Bay area.

The Lakeland location will be open through March 17. The Ruskin site will be available through March 14 and then will be moved to Plant City Stadium where it will stay through March 17.

“I have asthma and that’s the reason I had the shot because I understand the virus was bad on you as far as breathing in everything. So that’s why I wanted it,” said Paul Fish of Lakeland.

You must provide personal identification and those in select groups must show a professional ID.

In Florida, those eligible for a vaccine include:

  • People aged 65 or older, which will drop to 60 or older on March 15th
  • Health care workers
  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
  • People with underlying health conditions deemed extremely vulnerable by a doctor
  • Firefighters or law enforcement officers 50 and older and teachers