ORLANDO, Fla. - Last week, Orange County officials mentioned they were looking at the convention center as a possible mass vaccination location. FOX 35 has also confirmed they are considering the University of Central Florida (UCF) campus.
As tens of thousands of doses of COVID-19 vaccines head to Florida, county leaders are weighing all options for distribution, including several sites for mass vaccination. Leaders already assessed the Orange County Convention Center as an option.
“We’re looking at all options. I think as we move forward in order to be geographically located to where the need is,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.
On Monday, officials confirmed UCF is also under consideration for the mass distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the spring.
“UCF has always been considered. We have memorandum for agreement with large facilities for what are called PODs, point of dispense,” said Director for the Florida Department of Health in Orange County Dr. Raul Pino. He explained that UCF is one of those potential PODs due to the large student body.
UCF emailed a memo to the campus community last week saying UCF may serve as a mass vaccination site in the spring. It said:
“Decisions about timelines, prioritization and the type of vaccine will be made by the State of Florida. Due to limited supply, we can expect a scaled approach that will first prioritize the most vulnerable and those working in high-risk areas, followed by wider availability.”
Orange County leaders said as distribution moves along, they also plan to ramp up the number of healthcare workers to administer the vaccine.
“It won’t be a bad thing to have multiple sites where people can be vaccinated. That takes coordination so we have plans of action there,” Mayor Demings said.
UCF said as of now, it is unclear if mass distribution on campus would just be available to the UCF community or to the community at large. They said that there is a group at the university planning for both possibilities, including location.
County leaders expect mass distribution no sooner than February.
Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest coronavirus news.