Hillsborough County Will Begin A Second Round of COVID-19 Vaccinations This Week
Demand has far exceeded supply in Florida with its population of more than 4.4 million people 65 and older. After last week’s difficulties, Hillsborough County is changing the way seniors can sign up for the vaccine.
Hillsborough County’s vaccine rollout got off to a rough start last week with crashing websites, jammed phone lines and sites quickly reaching full capacity.
Since then, the health department has received another shipment containing 9,000 doses of the vaccine. People age 65 and older can sign up beginning Tuesday.
In an effort to streamline the process, seniors can only register for an appointment during a designated timeframe specific to their age group. The online portal and the call center won't allow for scheduling outside of specific age windows.
Marcus Martin, with the Hillsborough County Office of Emergency Management, says demand remains high, so the new system aims to offer a 'better customer experience.'
"We're reliant on what the state of Florida provides to us,” he said. “So this doesn't help us get more vaccines, but it helps us manage the vaccines that we have in a more orderly fashion."
Appointments will be scheduled online by CDR HealthPro portal and by phone on Tuesday. Residents age 65 and older can only make their appointments during the designated timeframe specific to their age group:
- Residents age 85 and older can book an appointment between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.
- Residents age 75 to 84 can book an appointment between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Residents age 65 to 74 can book an appointment between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
- After 5 p.m., any resident age 65 and older can book any remaining slots while available.
Hillsborough County officials say this system will help ensure equity in scheduling.
Last week, the county's public vaccination sites delivered 8,447 shots to people age 65 and over.
The three vaccine distribution sites for the next round of doses available to residents age 65 and older who live in Hillsborough County and its three incorporated cities 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