Governor announces Publix COVID-19 vaccine distribution in three additional counties

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Registration opens Wednesday morning.

Publix stores across Pasco, Pinellas and Nassau counties will begin offering COVID-19 vaccination appointments to seniors and health care personnel Wednesday.

This is an expansion of the state’s partnership with the super market giant, which is continuing to grow vaccination sites.

Gov. Ron DeSantis confirmed the announcement Tuesday.

“My administration remains laser focused on making the COVID-19 vaccine accessible to seniors through our partnership with Publix,” DeSantis said in a news release. “With the addition of Nassau, Pasco and Pinellas counties now administering vaccines, we are able to continue our ever-expanding mission to support Florida’s seniors.”

By adding the three counties’ stores, 325 Publix pharmacies in 23 counties will offer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in the coming week. About 750 Publix locations exist in Florida.

Registration will open on Wednesday at 6 a.m. for appointments until Sunday. For appointments scheduled for next week, registration will open Friday at 7 a.m.

Appointments can be made by registering online.

Those eligible to be vaccinated at a Publix location must be a health care worker who is in direct contact with patients, a resident or staff member of a longterm care facility or be aged 65 or older.

Proof of residency will also be required for those seeking a vaccine. A Florida ID or drivers license fulfills that requirement.

Pinellas County stores planning to provide the vaccine cover areas in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Belleair Bluffs, Largo, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Pinellas Park, Seminole and Tarpon Springs.

In Pasco County, cities include Land’O’Lakes, Lutz, New Port Richey, Odessa, Port Richey, Trinity, Wesley Chapel and Zephryhills.

Nassau County will provide the vaccine at two locations: Fernandina Beach and Yulee.

So far, Pinellas County has vaccinated 78,227 individuals, Pasco has vaccinated 31,174 and Nassau has vaccinated 9,735, according to the state’s latest vaccination report.

The state’s partnership to rollout a number of vaccines to Publix Super Markets has been the subject of controversy.

Small county officials have expressed concern over the partnership since many rural areas lack a Publix, and some small counties where the Florida-based chain stores operate aren’t administering the vaccinations. Okeechobee County’s single Publix store is not providing the shots, for example.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


6 comments

  • Ann Marshall

    February 2, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    This is wonderful to hear. I am 63 and have several underlying medical problems. Do you have any idea when we will qualify for the vaccinations?

  • Mike

    February 3, 2021 at 7:06 am

    I’m a visiting out of stater, trying to get a vaccine for my wife’s 92 year old mother. Finally got through to the registration form this morning.

    Editorial comment – it’s absolutely outrageous that your governor seized the distribution process for the vaccine and confined it to Publix. Further, the system that Publix is using to register people is terrible. Will stifle gory details on both items.

    Finally got through (this is day 3 of our trying) by continually hitting page refresh manually (basically, every second) right after it comes back from the previous refresh. The reason being, as soon as you refresh and it comes back to the “refresh countdown”, that means it failed to bring up the registration page. So, just keep hitting refresh every time it fails to load the reg page. Good luck.

  • Barbara Gruneisen

    February 3, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    I keep waiting & hoping the vaccine will be available in Ocoee, Orange county!!! We have
    had the most deaths from Covid in Orange County, Fl. I am 78 yrs. old & a 22 year Resident.
    I no longer drive the freeways & no family member to drive me. I was hoping the vaccine
    would come to my Publix on Maguire Rd., Ocoee, Fl. Thank You so much!

  • Barbara Gruneisen

    February 3, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    My Reply is above! I reside in Ocoee, Fl. 34761!

  • luanne van kleunen

    February 3, 2021 at 2:17 pm

    This registration process has been very disappointing so far. I have tried 3x (at 5 am CT, 6 am ET) to get on the Publix site to register my 85-year-old mother and her 87-year-old partner. You stare at a screen for an hour and a half and watch the available numbers drop. With no chance of registering, in any county. I would think with the high numbers of elderly people in FL., that there would be a better way. I will be back at again this Friday to try to make it happen…again.

  • Paul D. Tugwell

    February 10, 2021 at 7:42 am

    I think the Publix process for getting a COVID-10 vaccine is utterly ridiculous and hopeless! I am a 65 year old man and I’ve tried several times to get an appointment through Publix, hospitals and the health department. I think sitting at a computer looking at a screen refreshing every 60 seconds is totally stupid!!! One’s chances are very slim to get an appointment this way. Why can’t Publix just has a list you can sign up for the vaccine and then schedule you an appointment? You could include your name, age, phone number, email address. The way it is now, it’s just a luck of the draw! RIDICULOUS!!

Comments are closed.


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