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Gainesville Landmark Becomes COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Site

UF Stadium, The Swamp
University of Florida's Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

As the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County and UF Health partner to expand vaccinations in the community, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium's Touchdown Terrace becomes a destination for COVID-19 vaccine distribution site. Around 1,100 vaccines were distributed at the terrace on Friday in the county's largest vaccination event this far. The Pfizer vaccines are provided by the Florida Department of Health. Residents 65 and older were eligible to register for appointments.

UF Health Dr. Michael Lauzardo said this event is the first step in taking bold action to vaccinate the community.

"One thing that we kind of approach this too much like a street fight -- this is a war. So we've really got to scale up and have an all out effort to be able to vaccinate people, and we're getting there. And when the vaccines get here, they're produced more -- we're gonna really be able to
do this."

Kathy Miller, who received the vaccination, said the process was a positive one.

"I registered Wednesday night. Thursday morning I got an email saying make an appointment, picked a time, and it's now Friday. So it's excellent. What a relief," she said.

Florida Department of Health administrator Paul Myers said that people who were vaccinated are automatically set to receive their second doses in three weeks.

"So the model that we have used so far is where you get your first dose, you're gonna get your second dose — same time, same place. And so it really cuts down on having to re-register, having to get another appointment — so that's the model that we're using here."

As health officials look to expand vaccinations further, Lauzardo says UF Health hopes to have another event next Friday if the vaccine supply is available.

Valeriya is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.