USF begins offering COVID-19 vaccine to students, employees 65 and older

This week, University of South Florida began vaccinating those within the priority group -- people 65 and older -- for students, staff, and faculty, along with existing senior patients within USF Health. They have 2,300 doses to start.

Those who qualify include 275 students and 1,300 staff members, USF officials said.

The university has already reached out to the individuals that are currently eligible, and those seniors will be able to make an appointment to get vaccinated at the USF Health Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare. 

Students 65 and older at USF and also the University of Central Florida will be able to have an opportunity to get the vaccine. The University of Florida has already vaccinated about 1,100 seniors, while UCF is still waiting on shipments of the vaccine. 

This all comes as students will be returning from winter break in the coming week. As of right now, unless they are 65 and older, students will not be eligible to be vaccinated. However, the university is trying to keep up to date with its COVID-19 procedures. 

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Before returning to campus, students and staff will need to complete a COVID assessment. Students and staff will also randomly be selected for COVID testing which will not be optional, unless the individual is able to present a negative COVID test result within the past 14 days. 

While they continue to make the vaccine more widely available, they want their students and staff to stay on top of their health so they can keep the USF campus safe in the meantime. 

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As the vaccine becomes more widely available to the general public, USF is already one step ahead. The university has been conducting surveys to see exactly who would be interested in receiving a vaccine when that time comes. 

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that USF began administering the vaccine last week.