Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Health

Raymond James Stadium coronavirus vaccine site opening Monday

Meanwhile, coronavirus testing will move from RayJay to University Mall.
An EMS member speaks with a driver as they wait to exit after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at state vaccination site located at Raymond James Stadium Monday, March 1, 2021 in Tampa. This site replaces the former vaccine location at University Mall.
An EMS member speaks with a driver as they wait to exit after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at state vaccination site located at Raymond James Stadium Monday, March 1, 2021 in Tampa. This site replaces the former vaccine location at University Mall. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]
Published Feb. 27
Updated Mar. 1

The state-supported COVID-19 vaccine site that had been at Tampa’s University Mall will move to Raymond James Stadium on Monday.

The decision to permanently relocate mass vaccinations to the stadium’s Lot 14 parking lot comes after the University Mall location reached gridlock in mid-February with long lines and confusion.

Related: Long lines, seniors turned away amid confusion at University Mall COVID-19 vaccine site

The Raymond James vaccine site will be able to accommodate up to 3,200 people a day between first and second doses, according to a news release from the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

An EMS member gives the thumbs-up to a driver as others wait to exit after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at state vaccination site located at Raymond James Stadium Monday.
An EMS member gives the thumbs-up to a driver as others wait to exit after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at state vaccination site located at Raymond James Stadium Monday. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]

That’s better than the University Mall, which struggled to keep up. Senior citizens waited in line for hours in standstill traffic. There was confusion about whether people needed appointments to get their second doses, and problems with long lines continued for several days after.

In recent days, the University Mall site ran more smoothly, but only after the state significantly reduced the number of vaccines flowing through the site and officials had made clear that people should not show up without appointments.

The state said it moved the site 12 miles south to Raymond James Stadium to better “address logistical problems such as traffic congestion and long wait times.”

An unidentified woman administers a COVID-19 vaccine at state vaccination site located at Raymond James Stadium Monday, March 1, 2021 in Tampa. This site replaces the former vaccine location at University Mall.
An unidentified woman administers a COVID-19 vaccine at state vaccination site located at Raymond James Stadium Monday, March 1, 2021 in Tampa. This site replaces the former vaccine location at University Mall. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]

Officials will work over the weekend to switch the locations, with the University Mall site offering its last vaccines on Saturday and closing Sunday for the move. Monday is the first day that people can get vaccines at Raymond James Stadium.

People who had scheduled first- or second-dose appointments will have their appointments honored at the new location, according to a news release from the state.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus testing site that had long been at Raymond James Stadium is being moved to University Mall. The new testing locale will open Tuesday. It will still operate from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Related: University Mall vaccine site will relocate near Raymond James Stadium

Eligible Florida residents can try to schedule a vaccine appointment at Raymond James Stadium by calling 866-200-3896 or visiting myvaccine.fl.gov.

• • •

Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage

HOW CORONAVIRUS IS SPREADING IN FLORIDA: Find the latest numbers for your county, city or zip code.

VACCINES Q & A: Have coronavirus vaccine questions? We have answers, Florida.

FACE MASKS: Read the latest on guidelines, tips for comfort and long-term wear

GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information.

THE CORONAVIRUS SCRAPBOOK: We collected your stories, pictures, songs, recipes, journals and more to show what life has been like during the pandemic.

A TRIBUTE TO THE FLORIDIANS TAKEN BY THE CORONAVIRUS: They were parents and retirees, police officer and doctors, imperfect but loved deeply.

HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips

We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.