PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Tuesday that more Publix stores in Florida will offer the COVID-19 vaccine.
The governor made a number of stops across the state touting the pilot program's expansion
"It's an exciting day. It's an exciting announcement," the governor said while in Jupiter.
He said the vaccination program will now be extended to Palm Beach, Martin, and Monroe counties.
Hours later, at a news conference in Cape Coral, the DeSantis announced that Publix stores in Lee and Charlotte counties will also offer the vaccine.
The last stop of the day was in Vierra, where he announced Brevard County Publix locations will offer the vaccine.
DeSantis continued his mantra of putting seniors first saying that, so far, 700,000 have received at least one dose of the vaccine. He said they have been working closely with Publix for several weeks to get vaccines distributed in different locations throughout the entire state.
In Brevard County, the governor said 22 different Publix pharmacies will be giving out vaccines. Nationally, the governor said they have been receiving a lot of attention for their efforts, including out-of-towners coming into the state to get the shot.
"The fact that you have people all over the world wanting to come to Florida, you can't say we aren't doing shots, because if we weren't doing shots, people wouldn't want to get it," the governor added.
Seniors 65 and older can book their appointment at these new participating locations starting Wednesday at publix.com/covidvaccine. Vaccinations begin Thursday.
The additional locations will bring the total number of Publix stores in Florida distributing the vaccine to 242 across the whole state.
Palm Beach County is the largest so far to offer vaccines at Publix, where about 25 percent of the residents are 65 or older.
County officials told the governor that about 90 percent of seniors live within a mile-and-a-half of at least one Publix.
"Not every senior is going to want to drive halfway across town to go to a drive-thru site," DeSantis said.
He said so far the program has been successful and they look forward to expanding to more Publix locations in the future.
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