JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Walmart and Sam’s Club locations across the state of Florida will begin administering COVID-19 vaccinations on Friday as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.
Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement during a news briefing in front of a Walmart pharmacy in Jacksonville Tuesday afternoon, saying that 119 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in 34 counties would be offering the vaccinations to people 65 and older.
“And this is over 30% of their total footprint in Florida, which is a really really good start.,” DeSantis said. “So around 25,000 doses for the Walmart portion of the mission. And I think that they have a great plan. They’re spreading it pretty far and wide.”
In all, Florida is set to receive 65,300 doses through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, 25,000 of which will go to Walmart and Sam’s Club locations. With 119 locations sharing about 25,000 doses, each location would get about 210 doses, if they are distributed evenly.
“You do not have to be a member of Sam’s Club, to be able to get a shot at a Sam’s Club pharmacy, which we obviously very much appreciate because we want this to be as widely available as possible,” DeSantis said.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings announced Monday that 17 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in Orange County will be part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. At the time, the mayor said the stores would be vaccinating about 300 people per day.
Publix and Winn-Dixie will also receive more vaccine doses thanks to the federal program, according to the governor.
“Publix will also get more doses now than they had been getting just from the state and so they are also going to expand,” DeSantis said. “So right now they’re in 325 pharmacies across 23 counties. Starting by the end of this week, they will be in almost 600 public stores statewide across 41 counties.”
A release from the governor’s office clarified that there are currently 324 Publix locations offering vaccinations through its partnership with the state and 269 new locations would begin offering doses with its allocation from the federal government. In all 593 Publix locations across the state will be administering vaccinations. Publix operates 756 pharmacies throughout Florida.
DeSantis did not say how many doses Publix or Winn-Dixie would be getting from the federal government.
Publix’s website now lists appointment availability coming to Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties. You can find more details on those appointments and locations here.
Winn-Dixie will offer vaccinations at 43 of its locations, including stores in Brevard, Lake, Marion, Sumter and Volusia Counties, according to the governor’s office. There is no word on how many doses the grocery chain is being allocated by the federal government. You can find a full list of locations offering appointments here.
The doses coming into Florida from the federal program will be on top of the 325,000 doses that the state is already allocated, according to the governor. That would bring the state’s total allocation to about 390,300 doses.
However, even with the added doses coming from this federal program, DeSantis predicted it would still be some time before the state’s vaccination plans expanded beyond health care workers, first responders and the state’s 65 and older population.
“That is putting us in a range where it’ll take a couple more weeks to really get through probably all the seniors who really really want it,” DeSantis said. “I know there’s folks who aren’t in the 65 and plus, who are... who are anxious to get it. We want to get it to you.”
The governor said Publix will be offering more vaccination appointments this week as well. The store said its online appointment registration portal will open at 7 a.m. Wednesday. Appointments can be made at publix.com/covidvaccine.
Appointments with Winn-Dixie can be made at winndixie.com/pharmacy/covid-vaccine.