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DeSantis announces new vaccine sites at select Publix stores in South Florida

Any Florida resident 65 and older can receive the vaccine at any of the locations, governor says

All of the Publix locations in Palm Beach County will start doing coronavirus vaccinations, as will two in Monroe County, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday.

JUPITER, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that the state’s partnership with Publix Super Markets to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to seniors would expand to all 67 Publix pharmacies in Palm Beach County and select Publix locations in Monroe and Martin counties.

According to the governor, two Publix locations in Monroe County will offer the vaccine to seniors 65 and older, including one in Islamorada and one in Key West.

New appointments are expected to become available Wednesday at 6 a.m. at publix.com/covidvaccine.

DeSantis said seven Publix locations in Martin County will also offer the vaccine.

Any Florida resident can receive the vaccine at any of the locations.

According to DeSantis, 100-125 shots will be offered at each location on a daily basis.

A Publix spokesperson said state planners asked them to focus on locations in rural areas with high senior populations or in areas that don’t already have an existing distribution site like the state-run site at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens or the drive-through vaccination sites in Broward County.

For Broward’s mayor, the issue right now isn’t the number of vaccination sites, but rather the number of doses available.

“Our problem really is not about distribution. It is about getting enough vaccine to get into people’s arms,” Mayor Steve Geller said.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava released a statement saying: “Miami-Dade is home to over 10% of all Florida seniors 65+. At the same time we remain the epicenter of Florida’s epidemic, with 22% of all cases statewide. We urgently need more vaccines to meet the enormous demand keep and our community safe. We are distributing over 20,000 vaccines per week, and we are ready to ramp up to three or four times that volume – we just need more vaccines from the state.”

During a news conference Tuesday morning outside a Publix in Jupiter, DeSantis said nearly 700,000 seniors have been vaccinated so far across the state.

He said Publix pharmacies are an ideal vaccination location for seniors in Palm Beach County since 90 perfect of seniors live between 1 mile and 1 1/2 miles from a Publix store.

Earlier this month, DeSantis announced that several Publix locations in the state would serve as COVID-19 vaccination sites for seniors. The partnership started with three counties in Central Florida and soon expanded to other locations in northwest and northeast Florida.

With the addition of the South Florida locations and several others announced later in the day at a news conference in Cape Coral, a total of 220 Publix stores will now offer the vaccine across 17 counties in the state.

Click here for more information about how to book an appointment at a Publix store near you. Registration at the Publix vaccination sites in South Florida opens at 6 a.m. Wednesday and appointments will begin on Thursday. Appointments are required to receive the vaccine.

From Publix: Customers aged 65+ must make an appointment and can do so by using the online reservation system at publix.com/covidvaccine starting on Wednesday, Jan. 20 for appointments beginning Thursday, Jan. 21 – and again on Friday, Jan. 22 for appointments beginning Saturday, Jan. 23.

WATCH: Gov. Ron DeSantis holds news conference outside Publix Super Market in Cape Coral:

About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the managing editor for Local10.com.

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."