Two new area FEMA sites — one in rural northwest Lakeland and one in Plant City — will be offering COVID-19 vaccines with no appointments necessary during the next week.
A drive-through site at Polk County’s Walker Road Park, 1035 Walker Road, opens today at 9 a.m. and will operate 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through March 17 on a first-come, first-served basis.
A site at Plant City Stadium, 1810 S Park Road, will offer vaccines from Monday through March 17, also from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Both sites will be equipped to distribute up to 500 doses of vaccine per day, and both are satellites of the federal vaccination site operating at the Tampa Greyhound Track.
The satellites are moved every week or so to make vaccines accessible to people who may have difficulty traveling longer distances or may have other barriers to getting vaccines.
The Lakeland site replaces a satellite site at Lake Maude Park in Winter Haven, and the Plant City site replaces one in Ruskin at t Hillsborough Community College’s SouthShore campus, at 551 24th St. NE., that will operate today through Sunday.
The FEMA centers offer vaccines to all eligible under Florida’s current priority list:
- People 65 or older (the threshold drops to 60 or older on March 15)
- Frontline health-care workers
- Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
- People aged 50 or older who are firefighters or sworn law enforcement officers
- People with underlying health conditions whose doctors have deemed them “extremely vulnerable” to the virus.
- K-12 school staff and pre-K/child-care workers of all ages can get vaccines at the federal sites, although Florida’s official policy still limits vaccines to teachers age 50 and older.
The Tampa FEMA hub at 755 W. Waters Ave. is offering up to 3,000 vaccines a day both to walk-ups and people with appointments, which can be made at myvaccine.fl.gov.
The Lakeland site is offering the Pfizer vaccine today, but it may offer the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine other days, a FEMA spokeswoman told The Ledger
- With inoculations of people 60 and over about to begin and other age groups to follow, local health officials are urging all residents 18 and older to register for a vaccine online.
- The Polk County office of the Florida Health Department says it is up to date on making appointments for everyone who has registered. If you have registered and have not been called for an appointment, call Polk County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at (863) 298-7500.
- A mass vaccination event at the RP Funding Center on Wednesday was expected to distribute up to 4,000 doses to people who had registered with Polk County.