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