FAMU Lawson Center COVID-19 vaccination site expands eligibility

Tanya Tatum

The COVID-19 vaccination site at Al Lawson Center on FAMU’s campus is currently accepting school employees, law enforcement officers and firefighters age 50 years and over.  

The walkup site, which opened Feb. 25, has expanded the population being served following an executive order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis last week. The order adds school employees, firefighters and sworn law enforcement officers 50 and over to the list of those eligible to receive the vaccine. Initially, the site was open to residents who are 65 and over and health care workers with direct patient contact.  

The expanded eligibility could boost the number of people visiting the site daily. As of last Monday, 241 people were vaccinated. Those with mobility issues should drive up to the curb area in front of the Lawson Center, located at 1800 Wahnish Way. Staff will provide wheelchair assistance to transport them from their vehicle into and out of the vaccination site.   

“We hope expanding the list of those who can get vaccinated would encourage those seniors who haven’t yet been vaccinated to come forward to get their shots,” said Tanya Tatum, director of FAMU Student Health Services. “This site is accessible. Getting your vaccine is one way to end this pandemic.” 

Established by the Florida Division of Emergency Management and with technology support from CD Maguire Health & Medical, the site operates from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., seven days a week. Staff will distribute up to 200 Moderna vaccine doses daily for the first four weeks. Later, the site is expected to expand to 400 doses per day.   

Those visiting the free vaccination site are asked to bring identification to verify their date of birth and place of employment. The site was opened as the state sought to ramp up vaccine operations and combat growing vaccine hesitancy and skepticism among African Americans and other communities of color. Those seeking to be vaccinated can register online at https://commvax.patientportalfl.com. However, online pre-registration is not required.   

In-person graduation

Ceremonies for FAMU  

The university announced last Tuesday that it will host in-person ceremonies for its spring commencement. The University will hold six ceremonies that will begin on April 23 through April 25. 

A more detailed schedule for each college and school will be released soon and will be posted on the Commencement website at www.famu.edu/commencement.    

Students, parents, faculty, and staff are top priority, and the University will continue to adhere to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Board of Governors guidelines to ensure the health and safety of everyone, the university said in a news release.   

These ceremonies will celebrate only spring 2021 graduates. The University will host an in-person ceremony for 2020 graduates this summer. Dates and details will be announced at a later. 

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