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DeSantis Expands Publix Coronavirus Vaccine Program To Northwest Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday announced the opening of 26 new Publix locations where residents age 65 and older can receive the coronavirus vaccine.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he is expanding the program allowing residents age 65 and older to receive a coronavirus vaccine at select Publix locations in the state.

During a series of news conferences on Tuesday, DeSantis announced the opening of additional locations across five counties in Northwest Florida.

These locations are in addition to the 11 in Hernando County, as well as three in Citrus and eight in Marion that opened last week as part of a pilot program.

[View a complete list of Publix locations]

DeSantis sent 15,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine to those stores.

“Publix has done a great job with this,” DeSantis said during a news conference at a Publix in Niceville on Tuesday. “We knew they would because people love Publix in Florida.”

DeSantis said the 26 new Publix vaccination sites will begin taking appointments on Wednesday, with vaccinations starting Thursday.

He said there will be five new Publix vaccination sites in Bay County, six in Escambia, three in Walton, seven in Okaloosa and five in Santa Rosa.

DeSantis touted the success Publix has seen with its pilot program in announcing the expansion.

“I visited a number of their stories in Hernando County over the weekend, and talked to all the seniors,” DeSantis said. “A hundred percent of them gave everything high marks, it was easy to get online, they had a great system to get people through, and people were happy with it.”

“People are going to be happy with the way this works.”

Seniors can receive the vaccine by appointment only.

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Carl Lisciandrello is digital news editor of WUSF Public Media.