Governor announces pilot program for seniors to get COVID vaccines at Publix

Governor announces pilot program for seniors to get COVID vaccines at Publix

OCALA, Fla. — On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a pilot program to bring the COVID-19 vaccine to Publix stores in Citrus, Hernando and Marion counties.

Under the pilot program, Publix will receive 15,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine to distribute at 22 of its stores.

Gary Glattli said he likes the idea of being able to get the vaccine at his local pharmacy.

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“I like that, of course, Publix is about the only place we go and we use the pharmacy here,” Glattli said.

The Publix vaccines are by appointment only, and as of Thursday, many of those appointments had been claimed.

Bob Crane says, like many other people in Marion County, he tried to get an appointment shortly after they went online couldn’t get in.

“I’m 77 years old with hypertension and diabetes, and I can’t get a vaccine,” said Crane.

There may be hope. The governor said Thursday that they’re already looking at the possibility of expanding the program.

“That’s something I think is going to be effective, particularly our seniors are going to the grocery store. It’s convenient,” DeSantis said.

The governor said he would like to get the vaccine to all 756 Publix pharmacies across the state to make it more convenient for seniors to get vaccinated.