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Tampa Among FEMA Vaccine Sites That Will Transition To Second Dose Only Next Week

First doses will no longer be available at the federally supported locations.

Federally supported COVID-19 vaccine sites in Florida will stop offering first doses sometime next week and shift to only second doses, officials said Thursday.

This includes the primary sites in Tampa, Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville, and FEMA-affiliated sites around the state.

“The important message here is if you need a vaccine and you meet the criteria, do not wait,” FEMA spokesman Mike Jachles said at a press conference. “By midweek next week, we will transition to second vaccines only. So you cannot get the first vaccines at the FEMA-supported sites.”

Jachles did not give a specific date on when the transition will occur. It will change depending on supply and demand.

Jachles said the original intent of the FEMA sites was to administer first doses of the Moderna or Pfizer shot for three weeks (or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine), then give second doses for another three weeks.

This was to avoid “doubling the allotment, in theory,” he said.

The update comes a day after Gov. Ron DeSantis said shipments to Florida of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines were on hold for near future.

However, after lowering the age requirement to receive the vaccine from 65 to 60 this week, DeSantis said demand had lessened and hoped to soon lower it to 55.

Some communities have already taken the step of lowering the age. In Orange County, Mayor Jerry Demings said the county will begin vaccinating people 40 years old and up starting Monday.

It's unknown at this time if other counties will follow suit.

Information from WLRN and news partner the Miami Herald was used in this report.

Copyright 2021 Health News Florida

Health News Florida is now part of WUSF Public Media in Tampa, Florida.
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