Publix will soon offer COVID-19 vaccinations in 105 stores across 12 counties, more than tripling the size of the program since it launched last week.
The Lakeland chain had announced the number of stores would grow to 49 on Tuesday. On Wednesday, it said that number would soon be 105 with new sites in Collier, Flagler, St. Johns and Volusia counties. The other counties with stores offering vaccination appointments for those 65 and older are: Bay, Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, Marion, Citrus and Hernando counties.
Publix says it will start accepting appointments at the new stores on Wednesday with inoculations beginning the following day. Appointments must be made online at publix.com/covidvaccine. No stores are offering the vaccine in Pasco, Pinellas or Hillsborough counties so far.
In a press conference Wednesday morning, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state is targeting specific counties and stores while growing the Publix vaccination program.
“There are some counties that have really big health care infrastructures … a lot of hospitals,” DeSantis said. “We looked at counties that may be more medium sized that have a lot of elderly people as a percentage.”
On Jan. 5, Publix and the Florida Department of Health announced 15,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine would begin getting distributed at 22 stores in Hernando, Citrus and Marion counties.
“For 90 years, Publix has served its customers and communities in times of need,” Publix CEO Todd Jones said in a statement. “Our ability to provide these vaccinations to Florida’s 65-and-older population is a privilege. We are grateful to Governor DeSantis for his willingness to work with us to serve our communities.”
DeSantis said the program will continue to grow and included more counties.
“We’re not stopping here,” he said.
Those who are 65 and older can receive the vaccines by appointment only and at no cost. Those with health insurance need to bring their insurance card to their appointment. Those without health insurance should come prepared with their driver’s license or Social Security number.
Publix said last week each participating store would get about 120 vaccinations a day while supplies last. The retailer’s pharmacists began administering vaccinations to customers on Jan. 7.
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