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How to get a COVID-19 vaccine and avoid long lines

With long lines at state-run sites, here's what you need to know before heading out to get vaccinated.

TAMPA, Fla. — For the second day in a row, cars formed a long line at the University Mall in Tampa as people waited hours to get their COVID-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, some who made it to the front of the line were not able to get their second dose. 

Health leaders in Hillsborough say part of the problem could be confusion around second doses.

No matter how long people waited, they could not get that second vaccine without an appointment. 

County health officials believe that part of the problem was people mistook the date on their card for a second appointment, when in fact you need to make an appointment online.

"We didn't do a very good job of that, letting people know and for that, we apologize," said Kevin Watler with the Hillsborough County Public Health department. 

To make your second shot appointment, you need to go to myvaccine.fl.gov, and then select the box that says, "Are you seeking your first dose?" and choose, "No, I am seeking my second dose." From there you can set up your appointment.

There are also pharmacies now offering the vaccine now. Select Sam's Club, Walmart's, Publix, and Winn-Dixie's are offering COVID-19 vaccines by appointment. 

You can check to see if your local store offers vaccines on their website, and also sign up for an appointment.

You do not need to be a member at Sam's Club to sign up for an appointment there.

Publix is opening up more appointment spots on Monday, Feb. 15 at 7 a.m.

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