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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Florida's Publix COVID Vaccine Program Adds Collier, Volusia, Flagler, St. Johns

Florida’s partnership with Publix to administer the COVID-19 vaccine expanded into Flagler, St. Johns, Volusia and Collier couties on Wednesday.

The program now makes the Moderna vaccine available at 105 Publix pharmacies in 12 counties. Last week’s initial rollout included Citrus, Marion and Hernando, with Panhandle counties Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Bay added earlier this week.

People 65 and older can make appointments through Publix online at publix.com/covidvaccine. Inoculations at the newly added locations begins Thursday.

“Our goal is putting seniors first. Our goal is to offer it to every senior who wants it. And for those who may not get an appointment with Publix today, or may not be able to get in this round, hang in there. You're going to get it,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday during a news conference at the Sawgrass Village Publix in Ponte Vedra Beach.

DeSantis repeated his stance that prioritizing seniors over essential workers in the initial vaccine rollout is the right decision. On Tuesday Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the federal government is directing states to use their vaccine supplies to start vaccinating ages 65 and older as well as anyone with a comorbidity that puts them at risk.

“There's been reported close to 400,000 seniors have received vaccines. That’s the most of any state by a country mile and that’s just what’s being reported,” he said, “We’re the only state that’s done a majority of our vaccines for senior, and we’ve done now 60 percent of all reported shots have gone to people 65 and up and that percentage is going to increase each week.”

Health News Florida partners WGCU, WMFE and WJCT contributed to this report.