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Thousands of COVID-19 vaccine appointments expected to open in Pinellas County

Officials hope appointments will open later this week
Credit: wtsp

TAMPA, Fla — More COVID-19 vaccine appointments for Pinellas County seniors could be on the way as early as this week.

County Administrator Barry Burton spoke with 10 Investigates Wednesday saying the county will have firefighters and EMTs helping administer the vaccines. Burton also shared he wants to get all the kinks worked out before going live. 

Once everything is figured out on the county level, he hopes seniors will be able to book appointments later this week.

Burton says he knows people are frustrated and says last week the county only received 3,000 vaccines. This week, he says, the county had about 12,00 to give out-- that’s in a county of 250,000 seniors.

But, he also stressed that the department of health is not the only place vaccinating people in Pinellas County.

“The one message for people is we're not receiving all the vaccines coming in Pinellas County. Baycare is receiving it directly from the state, Advent Heath, Bayfront, Publix in some counties, they’re getting that vaccine directly from the state or federal government," he explained.

"It’s not flowing through us. So, what we’re getting from the health department, were going to help them set up vaccination sites and be able to allow people to access those and receive a vaccine that way."

Burton says he talks with the state daily about more vaccines and that it’s not the state saying no. Burton is hopeful as the production of vaccines ramps up, more doses will be coming to the state and county.

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