(WSVN) - Publix will begin offering COVID-19 vaccines to eligible South Floridians in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
Starting Monday, all Publix pharmacies in the two counties, 136 in total, will begin administering the vaccine to those 65 and over.
“It means a lot to me, you know, because that’s going to give me peace of mind,” Pierre Chery said.
Appointments can only be made online and will open up to the public on Friday at 7 a.m. Publix said appointments cannot be made by calling the store or the pharmacy.
The online reservation system typically opens every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning for vaccine appointments at Florida Publix pharmacies, depending on the number of vaccines received from the state and federal governments.
The supermarket chain joins other retailers, such as Walmart and CVS y Mas, to offer COVID-19 vaccinations in South Florida.
Those who can get vaccinated at Publix pharmacies include individuals 65 years of age or older, health care personnel with direct patient contact, a resident of a long-term care facility or a staff member of a long-term care facility.
Cars lined up at a Walmart parking lot in Lauderdale Lakes to receive a vaccine on Thursday.
“Everybody should get it, protect ourselves and our children and our grandparents and everybody,” said Fay Tench, who waited in line for a vaccine.
With more vaccines on the way to pharmacies across the region, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said more people will have the opportunity to get inoculated. The governor announced more permanent vaccination sites will come to South Florida, like the Overtown Youth Center, Oak Grove Park in North Miami Beach and Broward Community College North.
“We’re looking at within the next four to six weeks that you’re going to see this, potentially, really turn a corner, just in terms of how ready access people have to it,” DeSantis said in Jacksonville on Thursday. “These sites will offer at least 200 vaccines a day. I would say without question, barring any problems with the vaccine distribution, you’re going to see the age lower sometime in March for sure.”
“Instead of telling people to be patient, we’ll need to start persuading the remaining people that haven’t been vaccinated that they need to be vaccinated,” Broward County Mayor Steve Geller said.
The Food and Drug Administration will review data from Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine on Friday. If it is granted emergency use authorization, federal officials said 3 to 4 million doses will be ready to go next week.
“I don’t know for sure how many vaccines that means for the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “We think it’s gonna be tens of thousands. I mean, I hope it’s more than that, but at a minimum, we think it will be tens of thousands.”
Starting on Wednesday, Miami-Dade College’s North Campus will become a federal mass vaccination site.
“It will be administering 2,000 vaccines each day on site and an additional 1,000 per day through mobile units that will travel directly to harder to reach communities,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.
Around 200 seniors in Miami received their second dose of the vaccine on Thursday thanks to the city’s mobile vaccination program.
“We’re going to keep doing this, so that by the end of next week, beginning of the following, all those who were vaccinated for the first time would have had their second vaccination,” Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo said.
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