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Florida A&M finalizes plan to start distributing COVID vaccines

FAMU plans to start distributing COVID vaccines Feb. 25
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Posted at 6:13 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 18:14:46-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Tallahassee's universities continue their commitment to help the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccine site at Florida A&M University's Al Lawson Center will open next Thursday.

Through online registrations and walk-ups, FAMU will administer 200 doses a day. Twenty-eight days from opening, the site will receive 400 doses in order to handle the first and second doses.

FAMU Director of Health Services Tanya Tatum says opening the clinic on the southside is just one step they're taking to get people vaccinated in our minority communities. Tatum says they're continuing efforts to make sure African Americans are educated about the vaccine.

"We're the ones dealing with the outcome. We're the first responders, we're the front line workers, we're the individuals having more severe consequences once we're infected with COVID-19. We really want to make sure that people have access.

Tatum gave ABC 27 an inside look at how the clinic will operate inside the Al Lawson Center.

"Individuals will come in the front entrance, further down will be the registration, vaccinators along the south side, then walk around the west side and ... they'll have an observation area before they're released to go," Tatum explained.

Just down the road Florida State University now offering more opportunities for people to be vaccinated. The university is running vaccination clinics Wednesday and Thursday. Both universities are only vaccinating healthcare workers and people over the age of 65.

Still, Tatum urges the community's vulnerable populations to get vaccinated at the local hospitals. Tallahassee Memorial says anyone with these illnesses:

  • chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • serious heart conditions
  • immunocompromised including cancer treatment
  • People of any age with severe obesity (BMI >40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk.
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Down Syndrome
  • Sickle Cell disease
  • Diabetes
  • Have been classified as clinically extremely vulnerable based on clinical judgment and assessment by the physician.

Local hospitals can give people falling under any of those categories a vaccine so long as that person is referred to the hospital by a primary care physician.
"We're coming on half a million people who have died. If this vaccine can help eliminate that and decrease those numbers, I certainly think it's something we want to promote and make sure people understand it," said Tatum.

Another way health experts are hoping to reach African Americans is through a vaccination clinic this weekend in Frenchtown. Vaccinations for seniors will happen this Saturday from 9 until 4 at the Bethel Family Life Center. You must pre-register and provide proof of residency and age. To register, call (850) 222-8440.

Florida A&M will release its registration information in the coming days. You can find FSU's registration here.