Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

UF Health Jacksonville Prepares To Become COVID-19 Vaccine 'Pre-Staging' Site

UF Health Jacksonville hospital
UF Health Jacksonville
UF Health Jacksonville hospital

Five Florida hospitals, including UF Health Jacksonville, will be centers to store and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

UF Health Jacksonville Infection Prevention Specialist Chad Neilsen clarified Monday on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross that it doesn't necessarily mean people will line up at his hospital to get the shot.  Rather, UF Health is considered a "pre-staging" site where vaccines will be stored at extremely cold temperatures.  

“Our facility, much like other academic health centers, have these deep freezers needed for research and viral specimens and things of that nature,” said Neilsen. “You’re only going to find these freezers at mostly large-scale institutions that have some kind of academic research mission and we are one of those.”

As many as three different coronavirus vaccines may be ready for distribution and storage at hospitals by the end of this year or early next year. 

The entire interview with Neilsen is available on Monday'sFirst Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, which will be posted later this afternoon on

Michelle Corum can be reached at, 904-358-6308 or on Twitter at @MCorumonME.

Michelle Corum joined WJCT as "Morning Edition" host in 2012 and has worked in public broadcasting as an announcer and reporter for public radio stations in Lawrence, Kansas, and Interlochen, Michigan. She also manages WJCT's Radio Reading Service for sight-impaired listeners.