Family health

Kathy Castor announces distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to Tampa Family Health Centers

Tampa Family Health Centers will be one of 250 health centers nationwide to receive vaccines through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s COVID-19 Immunization Program, U.S. Rep. Catherine Beaver announced Monday.

The Department of Health and Human Services chose TFHC as part of a new program launched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and HRSA aimed at increasing access to vaccines for marginalized and disproportionately affected populations.

According to HRSA, the program “will directly allocate a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine to select HRSA-funded health centers” beginning the week of February 15.

“Expanding vaccinations will require coordination with state and local communities, including our nonprofit partners,” Castor said in a statement. “We must use all available resources to vaccinate our neighbors, and that includes our work in Congress to pass the U.S. bailout and increase vaccine supplies as well as community sites like the one that opens March 3 in Tampa and mobile units.”

Initial health centers chosen for this program include those that serve large numbers of disproportionately affected populations, including the homeless, residents of public housing, migrant/seasonal agricultural workers, or patients with limited fluency. English, according to the HRSA.

The doses are in addition to the Biden administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Type 2 community vaccination center at Tampa Greyhound Track. This center, which will be located in the site’s large outdoor parking lot, will begin vaccinating residents on March 3 as part of a concerted effort to provide vaccines to currently underserved and vulnerable populations.

The community vaccination center site will be a “hub” with additional support vaccination centers – or “spokes” – reaching neighboring communities.

“I applaud the work of President Biden and his administration to expedite vaccinations here in Tampa and ensure fairness in the process,” Castor said in a statement. “A community site in Sulfur Springs along with a direct supply of vaccines to Family Health Centers in Tampa will ensure that no one is left behind in immunization efforts, especially our hardest-hit communities of color.”

With approximately 2.5 million vaccines administered to date, 10% of white Floridians have been vaccinated compared to only 4% of blacks and 4% of Hispanics.

Govt. Ron DeSantis has recently under fire for the selective distribution of vaccines, leading even to US Rep. Charlie Crist asks the acting attorney general to investigate. DeSantis was specifically criticized for opening a Manatee County site that only served residents of two wealthy ZIP codes.


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