Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at the University of Florida

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

UF Health and the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County are teaming up to hold a major vaccination event at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Monday. 

According to a UF press release, the appointment-only vaccine clinic will be the largest to date, with up to 5,000 people receiving vaccines.

The event coincides with the first day Florida makes vaccines available to healthy people as young as 16. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the planned lower threshold last week. 

"This is an important next step in helping bring an end to the pandemic," the UF press release said. "UF Health Screen, Test & Protect experts say three out of four cases are the result of infections spread by people in their 20s, 30s and 40s."

Up until now, vaccination efforts have focused on higher age groups, but last month Alachua County health administrator Paul Myers said the 65+ population was reaching "saturation" at around 70 percent, precipitating lower demand in the area. 

Officials expect demand to spike on Monday, when many people under 40 will have their first opportunity to get a shot. At the stadium event, UF Health volunteers will use the health department's vaccine supply to poke up to 5,000 arms.

According to UF's press release, this is just the start: the goal is to ramp up to a goal of 20,000 per week. 

To schedule an appointment, visit the Alachua County health department online or call 352-334-8810.

Publisher for Mainstreet Daily News

J.C. Derrick is publisher for Mainstreet Daily News. He spent 18 years covering sports, education, and politics in Texas and Washington, D.C., before joining Mainstreet in 2020.

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