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Florida to expand COVID vaccines to Panhandle Publix stores

PALM BEACH, FL - JULY 17: A general view of people shopping at Publix as U.S. corporations...
PALM BEACH, FL - JULY 17: A general view of people shopping at Publix as U.S. corporations implement mandatory masks to be worn in their stores. Credit: mpi04/MediaPunch /IPX(Source: AP/mpi04/MediaPunch /IPX)
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 12:53 PM EST
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NICEVILLE, Fla (WCTV) - Florida’s governor is expanding the availability of COVID-19 vaccines to more Publix grocery stores.

Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement Tuesday at a press conference outside a Publix in Niceville.

Publix stores in Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Bay and Walton counties will begin offering the COVID vaccines on Thursday, DeSantis said, and people can begin signing up for appointments online starting Wednesday.

“I think this is going to be very important as we continue our mission to put seniors first,” DeSantis said. “Almost everyone is comfortable coming to the supermarket. Not everyone wants to go to a hospital. Not everyone can drive across town to go to a big drive-thru test site.”

DeSantis speaks at a Publix in Niceville 1/12/21

LIVE: Gov. Ron DeSantis is holding a press conference at a Public in Niceville.

Posted by WCTV.tv on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The state has been piloting the idea of offering vaccines at Publix stores in Hernando, Citrus and Marion counties since last week.

“People love Publix in Florida, but because they’ve done such a good job, we are now expanding the footprint and allowing more folks to be able to do this in other parts of Florida ,” Governor DeSantis said.

He cautioned residents of nearby Alabama not to sign up for the vaccines, stressing they are for Florida residents.

DeSantis said the vaccines are available to seniors over the age of 65 and he expects participating stores to offer between 100 and 125 shots a day.

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