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Al Lawson Center to become first walkup vaccine site in Leon County

Posted at 5:41 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 17:43:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — It's been challenging for many who are eligible to get vaccinated across Florida, especially when it comes to people who live in minority communities. Florida A&M University hopes to help that with the opening of a new vaccination site.

Starting Thursday, hundreds of seniors will have the chance to be vaccinated here at the Al Lawson Center. Unlike most other vaccination sites in the state, there's no appointment needed.

For Kimberly Whaley the site means knowing her mother who is just getting over COVID-19 and other seniors will have a chance to protect themselves. It's protection that, for many, has been hard to come by.

"You can't really get a vaccine. Lines are long. They don't have the vaccine. They said Publix was going to have it. CVS was going to have it. Then they don't have it," said Whaley. "This Al Lawson Center is going to be awesome for seniors."

Florida A&M University Student Health Services Director Tanya Tatum knows just how important a site of this kind is.

"We wanted to decrease some of the obstacles that people encounter trying to find or get the vaccine," said Student Health Services Director Tanya Tatum.

People will be able to walk-up, show their ID, and get in line. They'll take up to 200 people a day.

Tatum said the hope is to give access to not only minorities but seniors who don't have internet or aren't as comfortable using it.

"Not everybody has a computer at home," said Tatum. "Not everybody's smartphone is working, or they have a cell phone, like some of my family members, who still have flip phones. So we just wanted to make sure we reduce the barriers."

The site will open on Thursday, Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Although, it could close earlier if all 200 vaccine doses are given out before then.

For those who can't get in Thursday, the site will reopen on Friday morning.