ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Publix supermarkets have again expanded the counties where the grocer is offering coronavirus vaccine appointments and with the latest addition now all of Central Florida’s 10 counties have Publix pharmacies with shots.
Publix updated its vaccine registration website Tuesday with an update saying beginning at 7 a.m. Wednesday, eligible residents would be able to make vaccine appointments. The shots would be administered beginning Friday.
By 10 a.m. Wednesday all new appointments were filled at the new Central Florida locations.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that the portal should open again soon.
“What they are now doing are different appointment windows so they did this morning at 7 a.m. for Friday, Saturday, Sunday then they are also going to open up an appointment window Friday morning at 7 a.m. and will accept appointments for Monday and Tuesday,” DeSantis said.
The new appointment blocks also include additional counties including Alachua, Clay, Columbia, Desoto, Duval, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Leon, Manatee, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, Sumter and Suwannee.
“With the addition of doses provided by the federal government, we are able to offer more Florida residents the opportunity to be vaccinated,” Publix CEO Todd Jones said in a news release. “It is our privilege to serve during this time as we all work together to reduce the impact of the coronavirus in the state of Florida.”
DeSantis said the goal is to provide shots for every senior who wants one.
“We are doing seniors first - I know other states are doing it differently, focusing on younger, healthier people. We are putting our grandparents and parents first on this and our goal is to get every senior a shot that wants a shot,” DeSantis said.
The supermarket previously offered vaccines in Brevard, Flagler, Marion and Volusia counties during previous expansions of the pilot program.
With the latest expansion, the supermarket based out of Lakeland is now vaccinating people in 41 out of Florida’s 67 counties at 593 Publix pharmacies throughout the state.
Appointments can only be made online at publix.com/covid-vaccine/florida.
In addition to Publix pharmacies, Winn-Dixie, Walmart and Sam’s Club stores will also begin offering vaccine appointments in Central Florida soon. Winn-Dixie begins Thursday and Walmart and Sam’s Clubs on Friday.
As of Tuesday, more than 1.3 million Floridians had received at least their first dose of the vaccine.