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DeSantis: Publix will expand its COVID-19 vaccine locations to almost 600 stores

All Publix COVID vaccine appointments in Marion County were filled in less than thirty minutes...
All Publix COVID vaccine appointments in Marion County were filled in less than thirty minutes on Wednesday.(WCJB)
Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 1:37 PM EST
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Publix is expanding its COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

According to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the grocery store is set to receive more doses than they have been been, which means they can expand to more locations.

“Right now they’re in 325 pharmacies across 23 counties,” said DeSantis. “Starting by the end of this week, they will be in almost 600 public stores statewide, across 41 counties, and we already have them in Nassau and St. John’s, there’ll be six Publix in Clay County, and they’ll also be one in Columbia County.”

In addition to Columbia County, Alachua County is also listed on the updated list provided by DeSantis (Full list of counties here), however, no specific location addresses were given.

RELATED STORY: Fighting COVID: Everything you need to know about where/how to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine in NCFL

Marion County stores are the only Publix in north central Florida that will open up schedule slots on Wednesday (locations click here). Publix vaccine appointments are set to open at 7 a.m. in several locations across the state, including several in Marion County.

These appointments can be booked on Publix’s vaccine page. No appointments can be made over the phone or in person. These spots are often filled within the first hour.

DeSantis said Monday the state expects to have 18,000 more doses added to its weekly shipment from the federal government, bringing its anticipated shipment to 325,000 doses.

RELATED STORY: Several NCFL Walmart, Winn Dixie and Publix locations will offer COVID-19 vaccine appointments, including Alachua County

“We’re now about 325,000, just for the state’s allocation that’s going to the hospitals, it’s going to the county health that’s going through our pop up sites and drive thru sites,” said the Florida governor. “And so that’s good because we were at 266,000 a week for most of January. Now you have the federal pharmacy that’s on top of the 325,000. And hopefully with the Pfizer production, we will be able to see an increase in production there and have even more the Pfizer vaccine.

“Hopefully in the coming weeks, we do anticipate the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to be approved at the end of the month, I think they should approve it sooner. Just have to work the weekends you can work around the clock. But the sooner we get the Johnson and Johnson, the better off it’s going to be for a lot of folks. And so kind of the next phase will be seniors are the demand will start to wane. And I don’t think it has waned yet. I think there’s still tent tents demand.”

DeSantis remains focused on the state’s seniors at this time.

RELATED STORY: COVID-19 vaccines to come to several Walmart stores in Florida on Friday

“We’re doing seniors for 65 and up folks that are not 65,” he said. “[Residents]With comorbidities are getting shots through hospitals and physicians. We’re not having that at retail just because I think refereeing that is difficult, but we have all 65 and up. So we have a third of seniors of our 4.5 million seniors over a third have been reported to have had a vaccine, but the reporting lags. And so we’ve probably done close to 1.7 million seniors that have gotten at least one shot.”

According to the governor, the plan is to expand the operation once a lot of the senior population has received the vaccine.

“When we start to see that demand dwindle a little bit. And places like Walmart start to have some open reservation slots, then we’re going to work to to expand it,” he said.

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