Walgreens expanding vaccine locations in Lake, Marion, Polk, Sumter counties

12 new locations in Marion, 8 in Polk, 1 each in Sumter and Lake counties

FILE - This June 25, 2019, file photo shows the sign outside a Walgreens Pharmacy in Pittsburgh. Walgreens Boots Alliance will sell its pharmaceutical wholesaler business to AmerisourceBergen in $6.5 billion cash and stock deal. The drugstore chain says the deal will let it invest in and focus on its retail business, which has been hurt by sales declines during the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) (Gene J. Puskar, Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Less than a week after Walgreens began offering vaccine appointments in Florida, the pharmacy chain is expanding locations across the state including in Central Florida.

Walgreens begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations at two locations in Ocala last week, as the first Walgreens locations in Central Florida to offer the shots.

Beginning Thursday, new locations in Lake, Marion, Polk and Sumter counties will offer appointments for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced from a Jacksonville Walgreens that is also part of the expansion.

DeSantis said of the new locations, one will be in Lake County, 12 in Marion County, eight in Polk County and one in Sumter County.

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Prior to Thursday, only 12 Walgreens in the state had appointments for vaccines, this new expansion grows the pharmacy locations to 97 across Florida, including 16 alone in Duval County, according to the governor.

With the new locations a Walgreens spokesperson said the pharmacy is now vaccinating people in 19 counties. Walgreens is receiving a weekly allocation of 25,740 doses for Florida, according to a spokesperson.

DeSantis said he expects that number to grow soon.

“We think we’re going to be able to expand even more next week and we’ll have an announcement about that,” DeSantis said of the retail locations offering vaccines. “So I think what we’ll have is pretty much any community with a decent size, there’s going to be multiple retail options for you to be able to go in and do it.”

To make an appointment for a vaccine at Walgreens, visit Walgreens.com and click “schedule a vaccine” or by calling 1-800-Walgreens.

Publix, CVS, Winn-Dixie and Walmart pharmacies are also offering the shots in Florida by appointment only.

Most of the retail pharmacies are getting the first two coronavirus vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Pfizer and Moderna. DeSantis expects with the next shipments of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, more of those businesses could begin offering the single-dose shot. The governor said he doesn’t think Florida will get more of that vaccine for about two weeks.

“We don’t think we’re going to get any new J&J next week, but we do think beyond that, we’ll start to see the J&J ramp up,” DeSantis said.

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