COVID-19 Vaccine: Pfizer first doses will be available at Gateway federally funded site starting Tuesday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The first doses are a response to a pause in Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

Starting Tuesday, you can get a first dose of the Pfizer Coronavirus vaccine at the federally funded coronavirus vaccine sites.

Except, time is running out for these sites, which includes the Gateway Mall.

The Gateway Mall federally funded COVID-19 vaccine site and others like it are scheduled to close next month.

Sharon Taylor drove her brother here to get vaccinated. Sunday marked his last dose.

“It feels good, I’m glad it’s over,” she said.

“I’m glad she come and got me and got it out the way,” her brother Lawrence Adams added.

Originally, he wanted the one-and-done. But it was no longer available.

And Johnson and Johnson vaccines are not available until further notice.

The Florida Department of Health is pausing Johnson and Johnson vaccines while the Food and Drug Administration investigates rare cases of severe blood clots associated with them.

So now, Gateway and other federally funded sites will go back to administering first dose Pfizer vaccines Tuesday, April 20.

On Monday, April 19, the state will announce how many doses will be available daily. It anticipates the capacity will be lower than the 3,000 doses the site was previously administering.

But time is running out. The state says federally funded sites are expected to close Wednesday, May 26.

In a press release, the Florida Department of Health said it’ll work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make sure everyone who gets their first Pfizer dose also gets their second dose.

Remember, it’s a three-week wait period between Pfizer doses.

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Taylor worries that closing the site will limit people’s options.

“Especially if they don’t have transportation,” she said. “I’m just able to bring [my brother] but what about the others?”

Adams encourages people to take advantage of the time that’s left.

“I suggest they do before they close,” he said. “Better to get it out of the way.”