In Pinellas County the COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites are consolidating operations and in Hillsborough a vaccination site is opening in Progress Village.
The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County says that because of greater “availability of vaccines in the community is ramping down operations at larger county COVID-19 sites.”
To make COVID-19 vaccinations more accessible to all Pinellas residents, large sites in St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park and Largo had been providing thousands of vaccines a week with assistance from the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) and partners in the county’s firefighting/EMS agencies.
Now that vaccines are widely available at pharmacies and other community locations, the larger sites will begin consolidating operations in May.
“The larger sites were there to meet the initial demand for COVID-19 vaccinations and were not intended to be permanent sites,” said Dr. Ulyee Choe, DOH-Pinellas’ Director. “We are grateful to the firefighters and other first responders who were instrumental in serving the community’s needs at these larger sites. We continue to recommend that everyone who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine gets protected at a site that is most convenient to them.”
Here is a timeline for vaccination sites in Pinellas:
The Pinellas Park site at 4951 78th Ave. N. closed for first doses on April 30. It will close after their second doses are completed. The Central Pinellas site at 1197 E. Bay Dr., Largo, will also be closing on Friday, May 7. The Center for Health Equity at 2333 34th St. S., St. Petersburg, will remain open during weekdays until further notice. Appointments are made via the CDR Maguire Patient Portal here.
Changes at testing sites
There will also be a change in the testing site at Tropicana Field's Lot 2. It will close at the end of Saturday, May 15. The testing site at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater remains open.
To find a COVID-19 vaccination near you in Pinellas, go here for a list of clinics and pharmacies.
The Hillsborough County Emergency Operations Center has released its vaccination schedule for the week of May 3:
Hillsborough County, Fla. (April 30, 2021) – First doses of the COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine will be available May 3-7 at Hillsborough County’s public vaccination site at the Larry Sanders Sports Complex, 5855 S. 78th St. in the Progress Village area. The drive-thru location will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each weekday. An appointment is no longer necessary.
Vaccine eligibility, as prescribed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has been expanded statewide per a public health advisory issued April 29 by State Surgeon General Dr. Scott A. Rivkees. In addition to Florida residents, eligibility now includes anyone who is present in Florida for the purpose of providing goods and services for the benefit of residents and visitors.
Sites run by Hillsborough County dispense only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which can be given to individuals 16 years of age and older. Those ages 16 and 17 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Although an appointment is not necessary, individuals can save time at the vaccination site by going to patientportalfl.com and opening an account before arriving. The registration process is simple and easy, and takes only a few minutes. However, creating an account beforehand is not required.
There is no out-of-pocket cost to be vaccinated. A doctor’s note or prescription is not required. Health insurance information is being collected in accordance with federal guidance; however, you will not be asked to pay a copay or deductible. Individuals who do not have health insurance will still be vaccinated.
For other important details about being vaccinated at a Hillsborough County site, including what to bring and what to expect, go to HCFLGov.net/vaccine and click on the “County” link.
During the week of May 3, operations at all other County vaccination locations will be focused on providing second doses to those with previously-scheduled appointments.
Face Coverings Mandate Remains in Effect The mandate that face coverings must be worn in indoor locations of businesses, with certain exceptions, remains in effect. Wearing face coverings in outdoor areas of bars and restaurants is strongly encouraged. For more information, go to HCFLGov.net/facecoverings.