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Publix Stores In Hernando, Citrus, Marion To Administer Coronavirus Vaccine

The stores are part of a pilot program that will begin giving the vaccine Friday, as supplies last. More stores across the state could be added if distribution goes well.

Publix locations in Hernando, Citrus and Marion counties will soon be able to administer the coronavirus vaccine as part of pilot program announced Tuesday by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis said the Florida Division of Emergency Management and Department of Health has partnered with Publix to begin vaccinations on Friday. Those interested in receiving the vaccine must do so by making an appointment, starting Thursday.

Vaccines are only available at this time to priority groups: long-term care facility staff and residents, people 65 or older and health care workers.

DeSantis said the grocery store chain will receive 15,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

The pilot program will include 11 stores in Hernando, three in Citrus and eight in Marion.

Publix has posted a list of the stores and other information here.

Each store is expected to offer 120 vaccines per day, or as supplies last.

DeSantis said if the pilot program goes well Publix could offer vaccines at more Publix locations.

"I’ve made clear to Publix that, if we’re able to do this, if it’s efficient, if people have a good response to it, you know, my goal would be to work with them and all their pharmacies,” DeSantis said.

The vaccinations are free but customers are asked to bring a photo ID and proof of insurance if they have it.

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Carl Lisciandrello is digital news editor of WUSF Public Media.