UF is offering COVID-19 vaccines on campus for students, faculty and staff.
The university opened ONE.UF pre-registry March 30 for the UF community to receive their first or second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Monday, which is in accordance with the governor’s expansion of eligibility to ages 16 and up.
On Monday, about 5,000 vaccines will be distributed at the Champions Club section in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, where mass vaccination efforts have been held in the past.
UF does not plan to mandate the vaccine for future semesters, but other schools like Nova Southeastern University near Fort Lauderdale, Rutgers University in New Jersey and Cornell University have attempted to mandate it with different results.
The Florida governor issued an executive order Friday barring businesses from requiring COVID-19 documentation; in turn, Nova Southeastern University had to wind back vaccine requirements for students that would have been effective Aug. 1 in order to comply.
UF cannot mandate vaccines unless the governor and the Florida Department of Health do, Dr. Michael Lauzardo, the head of UF Health’s Screen, Test and Protect program, said. Yet students are eager to get the shot.
Originally, Julia Dawson, a 20-year-old UF psychology sophomore, hoped to get the vaccine this Summer, but the time to schedule came sooner than expected. She is set for noon Monday to get the vaccine she’s anticipated since she first heard about it last year.
“I’m really happy that I will be able to do that because UF was on top of it,” Dawson said. “Being able to not have to stress about possibly getting [COVID-19] or quarantining sounds really nice.”
Sarah Bhatt, a 20-year-old UF public relations sophomore, will receive her vaccine 2:30 p.m. Monday. She is prepared to rest for the next couple of days if the vaccine causes any tiring side effects such as fatigue, which happen to some people according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Bhatt is optimistic for guidelines like masks and social distancing to be relaxed once everyone has received their second doses of the vaccines.
“I am really looking forward to seeing people's faces and actually being able to register their emotions and see their smiles,” Bhatt said. “It’ll be nice to really get to know people a little bit better.”
Contact Manny Rea at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ReaManny.
Manny Rea is a journalism sophomore and the current health reporter for The Alligator. He worked as a copy editor in his freshman year before moving over to the Avenue in summer 2020. He likes to listen to dollar-bin records and read comics, and he is patiently waiting to go back to movies and concerts.