Governor announces the expansion of COVID vaccine distribution to Walmart stores in state

Governor announces the expansion of COVID vaccine distribution to Walmart stores in state
(Source: Gage Cureton)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WWSB) -The Governor announced on Tuesday that more than 100 Walmart stores will begin to provide the COVID-19 vaccine across Florida. Initially the governor announced that Manatee County Walmarts were included in that number, but Walmart tells us Sarasota and Manatee County are not receiving the shots at this time.

“I think Manatee is probably 15,16.. Broward I think is at least 10, so there’s some other spots but Duval is number 1 for the pharmacies that are going to be carrying the vaccine,” the governor said at a Walmart location on Tuesday afternoon.

However, it doesn’t appear that any Walmart stores on the Suncoast are receiving the COVId-19 vaccine just yet.

The Governor says the news comes after a green light from the Federal Pharmacy Program which allows the State to expand COVID vaccine distribution to other retail pharmacies. This program is separate from the federal allocation the state is already receiving. According to the Governor, to date, 325,000 thousand doses of the vaccine are being shipped weekly by federal government just for states allocation to county health departments, hospitals, and state drive thru sites. Governor DeSantis says just last month the state was at 260,000 doses of the vaccine a week. DeSantis says the Federal Pharmacy Program will bring more than just the federal allocation of 325 thousand.

The Governor announced the expansion of Publix locations offering the vaccine. To date 325 Publix pharmacies in 23 counties in the state are offering the vaccine. However the Governor says later this week there will be 600 Publix stores across 41 counties.

Gov. DeSantis Presser

Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a press conference.

Posted by ABC7 Sarasota - WWSB on Tuesday, February 9, 2021

The Governor said he wanted the Walmart locations to focus on areas in our state that didn’t have a pharmacy vaccine distribution footprint like Publix, yet.

ABC7 has reached out to the Governors’ Office for a full list off all Publix and Walmart stores that these programs will be expanding to, to find out where the Suncoast stands.

Walmart.com/covidvaccine

Manatee County Emergency Manager Jacob Saur tells ABC7 that more vaccines are coming to the county.

“I updated the County Commissioners this morning on this topic. We have been notified under the Federal Retail Pharmacy program that 17 Publix pharmacies and 1 Winn Dixie in Manatee County will be participating in this program starting as early as Friday,” Saur wrote.

They don’t have more specific information on those shipments at this time.

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