Ahead of Florida’s planned expansion of vaccine eligibility, Publix has already started accepting appointments for anyone who is 50 or older.
The grocery chain began accepting those appointments on Friday after Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he would sign an executive order making anyone 50 and older eligible for the vaccine during a news briefing in Tallahassee.
“Since today’s scheduling event will be for appointments on Monday and Tuesday of next week, customers who are 50+ could reserve their appointments starting today,” a spokesperson for Publix said in a statement to News 6.
The online reservation system opened at 7 a.m. Friday. As of 2:40 p.m. on Friday, most appointments throughout the state were fully booked, including locations in every Central Florida county.
Publix’s vaccine portal opens every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7 a.m. at Publix.com/covidvaccine. Appointments must be made online.
CVS will accept appointments for any Floridian over the age of 50 on Monday. Anyone interested in scheduling an appointment at CVS must signup at this link.
Walgreens will accept appoints for any Floridian over the age of 50 on Sunday. Anyone interested in scheduling an appointment at Walgreens must signup at this link.
Winn-Dixie pharmacies also plan to implement changes to adapt to the new eligibility requirements.
“We are working with the State of Florida and the Florida Department of Health to determine best practices and implement changes to our current system to serve all eligible customers in this newly expanded age group,” Kaley Shaffer, Southeastern Grocers public relations director said in a statement. “We expect to have these changes implemented into our process beginning early next week, and we ask our customers to be patient while we adjust to the evolving eligibility criteria.”
DeSantis said he expects to open up vaccine eligibility to everyone shortly after the 50 and older expansion.
“I think the demand has been relatively modest certainly much more modest than it was at the end of December when we were doing the 65 And plus,” Desantis said. “So we think that this makes sense and I think we’ll see how it goes next week, but I think we will definitely be opening it up to everybody, certainly before May 1 and, and maybe much sooner than that, so stay tuned there.”
The governor did not give a timeline for when eligibility would open to everyone.