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Hillsborough will begin second round of coronavirus vaccinations this week

The state and county have allocated 9,000 doses of the vaccine to be administered at three distribution sites from Wednesday through Friday.
Scott Allen, 71, of Wimauma, receives a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination by OnSite Safe Nurse Kedra Rance in Plant City on Wednesday.
Scott Allen, 71, of Wimauma, receives a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination by OnSite Safe Nurse Kedra Rance in Plant City on Wednesday. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Jan. 11, 2021|Updated Jan. 11, 2021

TAMPA — Hillsborough County, in partnership with the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, will begin a second round of COVID-19 vaccinations this week for people 65 and older.

Hillsborough has allocated 9,000 doses of the vaccine to be administered at three distribution sites from Wednesday through Friday.

Appointments are mandatory and can be made online or by phone, Hilsborough County officials said in a news release Monday.

To help prevent the online option from crashing, as it did last week, people must make their appointments Tuesday during a designated timeframe specific to their age group:

  • Those 85 and older can book an appointment between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.
  • Those 75 to 84 can book an appointment between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Those 65 to 74 can book an appointment between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

After 5 p.m., any resident 65 and older can book any remaining slots while appointments remain available.

Each age group has a dedicated number of appointment slots available to help ensure equity in scheduling.

The place to book online is patientportalfl.com. People can save time for setting up an account there before their designated time for booking an appointment.

For those without access to the Internet, appointments can be made by calling (850) 848-5287. The call center is available for account creation, as well.

Appointments for the required second dose can be made at the time of scheduling.

There will be no vaccines for residents without appointments, and there is no waiting list.

The three vaccine distribution sites are:

  • Vance Vogel Sports Complex, 13012 Bullfrog Creek Road, Gibsonton.
  • Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds, 2700 W. Risk St., Plant City.
  • Ed Radice Sports Complex 14720 Ed Radice Drive, Tampa.

These sites were chosen for their geographic diversity, available resources, and population density of residents 65 and older. Details about access to the vaccine distribution sites will be given to residents upon appointment confirmation.

Those arriving ahead of schedule may be turned away and instructed to return at their scheduled time. For more information about vaccines and what to expect at your appointment, visit HCFLGov.net/Vaccine.

Hillsborough County expects to receive allocations of vaccine from the state as it is made available. Hillsborough County is in Phase I of the state of Florida’s vaccine distribution plan, with limited supply of vaccine available;e and a focus on long-term care facilities; front-line health care workers; and persons age 65 and over.

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Limited availability of vaccines is anticipated over the next several weeks.

Hillsborough County Emergency Management also is coordinating with the state of Florida for mobile distribution of vaccines to group homes and independent living facilities that meet the state’s criteria.

Hillsborough County’s public vaccination sites delivered 8,447 shots last week to people 65 and over, and 522 shots to front-line health care workers in a targeted vaccination effort. Additional vaccination efforts are underway at selected hospitals, churches and Publix supermarkets.

Hillsborough County fired its first online appointment contractor after the system crashed and is working now with CDR Maguire: Health & Medical to help with the vaccine distribution efforts.

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