Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

State Resumes First Doses Of Pfizer Vaccine At FEMA Sites

 Tampa’s Greyhound Track FEMA site is one of multiple Florida locations reporting leftover doses as fewer people seek vaccinations.
Tampa’s Greyhound Track is one of four FEMA-supported vaccine hubs.

The sites had been offering the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine until the federal government recommended a pause this past week.

With the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine on hold, Florida's federally supported hubs has resumed offering first doses of the two-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

No appointments are necessary at the sites, but supply is limited.

On April 5, the FEMA sites began offering only the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and scheduled second doses of the Pfizer. However, the federal government has recommended a pause in the J&J vaccines while it investigates rare blood clots found in six recipients.

Since the pause, the fourFEMA locationsin Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville and Orlando had been offering only second doses of Pfizer shots.

A spokeswoman for the state says it’s not likely that each site will have the supply to offer the3,000 doses per day that they had been offering with Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

“The state is continuing to work with FEMA to determine first-dose capacity under the change in vaccine brands,” Samantha Bequer, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Emergency Management, said in an email.

It’s not clear when the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be offered again.

The four federally supported sites are scheduled to close May 26. At that time, the state will make other arrangements for people who still need their second doses.

“The goal of these sites is to increase vaccine access to all Floridians and the state is committed to working with FEMA to ensure these sites can continue to offer the vaccine to underserved populations,” Bequer said.

Copyright 2021 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Julio Ochoa is editor of Health News Florida.