MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – South Floridians have another avenue to get the COVID-19 vaccine, with 40,000 doses allocated to store pharmacies in the state.
Walmart, Sam’s Club, Winn-Dixie and Publix are administering the shots that come from the federal retail pharmacy program. That’s in addition to the 325,000 doses sent to the state for distribution at mobile sites, hospitals and community sites.
“It’s better for us, because we are seniors and we cannot drive all over the place,” said vaccine recipient Carmen McLeod.
She managed to find availability at a Walmart in Hollywood. Appointments are only available online and have filled up quickly.
Walmart pharmacies are opening appointments for six days at a time, urging people to check often as they release new slots daily.
Nine Walmarts and one Sam’s Club in Broward are offering the shots, while two Walmarts are doing so in Miami-Dade.
“We need more, especially in our community, said Miami-Dade County resident Tousha Faulk.
Gov. Ron DeSantis says more than 35% of the state’s seniors have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with this latest rollout one step closer to getting shots to all seniors who want one.
“We have 119 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores across 34 counties [offering the shots],” DeSantis said. “That’s not every Walmart in Florida, but it’s about 30%, and they’ve got a lot of stores here, so that’s gonna be a good starting point.”
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez joined a small group of mayors and governors at the White House on Friday to discuss the need for COVID-19 relief with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Suarez also pushed for more vaccine supply sent directly to Miami, saying the community here is even more eager for the shot as cases start to go down.
“As the vaccine has taken hold more and more, we start to see some of the cases start to drop,” he said. “I think people are starting to see that it works and that there’s a correlation between getting vaccinated and potentially getting back to some sense of normalcy.”