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After Confusion, State-Run COVID-19 Vaccine Sites Change How Second Doses Are Scheduled

man wearing mask inside car receives vaccine from nurse outside vehicle
Hillsborough County
The change in scheduling comes a week after chaos ensued in Tampa. Seniors showed up without appointments, some waiting for hours before they were turned away.

Appointments for second doses will now be made on-site at four state-supported vaccination sites, including University Mall in Tampa.

The state is changing the way it schedules second doses for people visiting one of its four coronavirus vaccination sites.

It's meant to ease some of the confusion that's caused problems for seniors.

Health workers will now schedule second doses on-site for seniors when they receive their first doses at University Mall in Tampa, Regency Mall in Jacksonville, and Hard Rock Stadium and Marlins Park in South Florida.

Previously, people were supposed to wait for the state to contact them about making an appointment.

Many seniors complained about not hearing from anyone and would show up without appointments.

Some were turned away as happened in Tampa last week. It was a chaotic scene with cars backed up for hours and traffic jams disrupting the community.

"This will streamline the appointment process," Samantha Bequer, spokesperson for the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said of the scheduling change.

"And moving forward, individuals who receive their first dose at a state-supported vaccination site will no longer need to wait to receive a call back from the state to schedule their second dose appointment."

Bequer said seniors who have already received a first dose at one of the sites and are waiting to schedule their second dose should call their county's designated helpline or visit myvaccine.fl.gov.

I cover health care for WUSF and the statewide journalism collaborative Health News Florida. I’m passionate about highlighting community efforts to improve the quality of care in our state and make it more accessible to all Floridians. I’m also committed to holding those in power accountable when they fail to prioritize the health needs of the people they serve.
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