More Tampa Bay hospitals to start giving shots

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Coronavirus vaccines landed in Tampa Bay this week, and Tampa General Hospital is already working to distribute them to frontline health care workers in other hospital systems.

The hospital received 19,500 doses of the vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech, which was approved for emergency use on Dec. 11. It’s one of five hospitals in the state responsible for distributing the drug to health care workers at other hospitals.

AdventHealth Tampa is up first. It expects to receive several hundred doses from Tampa General on Wednesday, said Dr. Robin McGuinness, senior executive officer of patient outcomes for AdventHealth’s West Florida Division, which operates six hospitals in Tampa Bay.

Moffitt Cancer Center and BayCare Health System hospitals will receive vaccines Thursday, administrators said. Moffitt expects to receive about 500 doses and will conduct a “dry run” of its vaccination plans on Wednesday, said chief medical officer Dr. Robert Keenan.

BayCare, which operates 15 hospitals in and around Tampa Bay, is set to receive nearly a quarter of Tampa General’s 19,500 doses, said Kyle Barr, senior vice president and chief team resources officer. The hospital system is in the process of scheduling vaccinations for Thursday’s clinic at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, and it will hold more clinics at other locations over the coming weeks.

Bayfront St. Petersburg will start vaccinations Friday, according to a news release by the hospital. They’ll resume for more on Tuesday, Dec. 22. The release did not specify how many doses the hospital expects to receive, but said high-risk groups, or those working directly with COVID-19 patients, will get first priority.

HCA Healthcare hospitals also have vaccination days coming up, but chief medical officer Dr. Larry Feinman declined to make public exact dates. Employees from facilities in Pinellas County will be vaccinated over two days at Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg, and those working in Hillsborough County facilities will be vaccinated over two days at Brandon Regional Hospital.

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