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COVID-19 vaccine to arrive at UF Health Jacksonville Monday

A small group of UF staff will be the first to get the vaccine.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine could arrive in the First Coast as early as Monday, according to UF Health Jacksonville. 

The vaccine was shipped Sunday from Michigan to distribution centers across the country.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Friday for emergency use. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis picked five hospitals across Florida to receive and distribute the vaccine.

Daniel Leveton with UF Health said the hospital is expecting the vaccine shipment to arrive sometime Monday morning.

Leveton says a small group of UF staff will be the first to get the vaccine. “Then Tuesday and Wednesday we will start giving more - all staff who want the shot are signing up through an employee portal. Other hospitals will get the vaccine from us after we get it and then they’ll be in charge of giving it to their workers," he said.

Florida will receive more than 179,000 doses of the vaccine in the first round. In the first shipment, 97,500 doses will go to hospitals, like UF Health. They will be distributed to health care workers in high-exposure parts of the hospital.

Doctors at UF Health said they've been preparing to store the vaccine for a while, prep that includes storing it in negative 70 degree Celsius temperatures.

Close to 82,000 doses will go to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The vaccine isn't expected to be available to the general public until the spring or summer of 2021.


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