TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – The new FEMA COVID-19 vaccination site is now open and operating at the Tampa Greyhound Track. Local representatives and FEMA officials met to discuss details on the new federal site on Tuesday.
Officials say the FEMA-funded site will only be giving Pfizer vaccines at first, and certain people will be able to get the shot.READ MORE: St. Pete Pier Hosts 1 Year Anniversary Event With Drone Light Show
At the Tampa Greyhound Track, FEMA officials say people with underlying conditions, school employees, law enforcement, and firefighters 50 years and older will be able to receive the vaccine. Officials stress that appointments are recommended.
Florida Representative, Kathy Castor says, “We are in a race against time because we still have significant spread. We have variants that have been detected in the state of Florida.” Castor says the new federal COVID-19 vaccine sites in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and Miami will help more people get vaccinated across the state. “The pandemic has completely upended our lives and now it’s an all-hands on deck moment,” said Castor.
The new vaccination site at the Tampa Greyhound Track is completely paid for by the federal government and will have also have two mobile sites. Officials say up to 3,000 people will be vaccinated each day through these sites.
Jared Moskowitz with Florida Emergency Management says “We’re going to have these little mini-sites that we set up deeper into the community for people who don’t have transportation.”
Organizers say the Tampa Greyhound Track will not be a drive thru, and while appointments are recommended, it will also take walk-ins.READ MORE: Alpharetta Man To Sue Police Over K-9 Attack, Alleged 'Misuse Of Force'
Robert Samaan works with FEMA and says “On staffing, the site is primarily going to use staff from FEMA and the federal department of defense. A 139-person, type two team from the U.S. Air Force will manage and operate the vaccination operations at the Tampa community vaccination center.”
The site will be vaccinating everyone eligible listed by Governor DeSantis, including school employees, something Moskowitz supports.
“We can’t forget about our bus drivers. We can’t forget about our lunch ladies. We can’t forget about our principals,” said Moskowitz.
Officials say beginning this week, shuttles will be available to help people get to the new greyhound vaccination site.
“Working together, reaching out to our neighbors, taking care of each other and making sure over the coming weeks that everybody can get vaccinated,” said Castor.MORE NEWS: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Participate In Florida Association Of Police Explorers State Competition
The new federal site will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., every day of the week.