Tampa General Hospital has received about 20,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced at the hospital Monday. Following the governor’s announcement, Rafael Martinez administered the Pfizer vaccine to frontline nurse Vanessa Arroyo in a demonstration of one of the first vaccinations in the state.
“The way I’ve described it to my team is this is 20,000 doses of hope,” TGH CEO John Couris said. “This is the beginning to the end.”
The hospital will be vaccinating health care workers with the initial shipment, including those outside of the TGH system across the Bay area.
“You will be seeing folks at Tampa General with this shipment being vaccinated, but you also, this week, see employees from some of these other areas, the other hospitals be vaccinated,” DeSantis said.
The federal government planned to ship vaccines to five Florida hospitals: Jackson Memorial in Miami, AdventHealth in Orlando, Tampa General Hospital, the Memorial Healthcare System in Broward County and UF Health Jacksonville.
Broward Memorial Hospital and UF-Shands in Jacksonville will also be receiving shipments Monday, and the remaining are expected to receive them Tuesday morning. Once Tuesday’s shipment is complete, there will be about 100,000 doses among the five hospital systems. CVS and Walgreens pharmacies are expected to receive 60,000 doses for long-term care facilities in Florida.
“Today, we will have shots going into arms,” DeSantis said.
The delivery to Tampa General came in earlier than expected, Couris said, with the FedEx vehicle rolling in at 10 a.m. instead of its expected delivery 30 minutes later.
“To have that kind of logistical precision happened across this country is absolutely outstanding,” Couris said. “And when you’re on the frontlines, when you’re caring for patients, when you’re managing an organization through something like this, to have the type of leadership and cooperation at the state and federal level is critically important.”
The state is planning on getting about 20,000 doses for long-term care facilities Tuesday, which will go to Pinellas and Broward counties to vaccinate for COVID-19.