PORT CHARTLOTTE, Fla. – Publix reopened its online vaccine appointment portal at 7 a.m. Monday, but nearly all the slots were booked less than 90 minutes later, the grocer said.
The Publix port will next reopen Wednesday morning.
“We have moved to Monday, Wednesday (and ) Friday scheduling events for Florida locations,” Publix said in an email to News 6. “As we have moved to a three day per week reservation cycle, all counties will not necessarily have appointments available for every scheduling event. As long as we continue to receive vaccine from the state and federal governments at the current rate, all currently announced counties will receive appointments each week.”
County residency is not required, so those wanting to get the vaccine should consider neighboring counties for available appointments, Publix said.
The grocery store chain is now offering vaccinations at 593 locations across 41 of Florida’s 67 counties, including every Central Florida county. The expansion came after Publix began receiving additional vaccine doses through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.
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 are also offering vaccine appointments in Central Florida. Winn-Dixie began vaccinations on Thursday, and Walmart and Sam’s Clubs will begin on Friday.
The governor also announced a new initiative to help vaccinate veterans of World War II and the Korean War living in Florida, specifically those who are homebound and cannot travel to get inoculated. A portion of the Florida Department of Veteran’s Affairs’ website is now dedicated to assisting those veterans with access to the vaccine.
“They put their lives on the line for our country and we need to be there for them and if that means devote these resources on an expeditionary basis, we’re going to do that,” DeSantis said.
The state estimates there are about 30,000 WWII veterans and 100,000 Korean War veterans living in Florida, DeSantis said.