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Governor DeSantis announced a new COVID-19 vaccine distribution site is coming to Bay and neighboring counties

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 9:50 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference Tuesday outside of the grocery store chain he says is part of the state’s DNA.

“It’s wonderful that he came this far and gave us more insight on this,” said Panama City Beach resident Carol Haygen.

Many seniors, including Haygen, said they’ve been having a difficult time getting an appointment for the Moderna vaccine. Governor DeSantis announced in the press conference the expansion of COVID-19 distribution sites to 26 Publix grocery stores in Northwest Florida, starting Thursday.

“You know a lot of these seniors are in tears when they’re getting their vaccines. They’re mitigating, they’re not living the same life they did prior to COVID and now this is something that people have been waiting for and you’re getting it and they’re delivering it here at Publix,” said Governor DeSantis.

Governor DeSantis said Florida is the first state to go against CDC guidelines and put people 65 and older first. He adds out of the 4.4 million seniors statewide, 350,000 have been vaccinated as of Tuesday.

“We from the beginning thought we had to put seniors first, so we’re going to continue to do that,” said Governor DeSantis.

Governor DeSantis said distributing vaccines through Publix adds another effective and efficient way for seniors to get their vaccinations.

“It’s great. It’s going to be easier and it’s good for older people and we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully, we get on the list real easy,” said Haygen.

Governor DeSantis said each Publix store participating in the program will give anywhere from 100 to 125 shots a day.

“But there’s still going to be more demand than appointments. Rest assured, they’re going to book appointments as we get more vaccines we’re going to be continuing with this. I mean this is something we’re committed to and we look forward to doing that,” said Governor DeSantis.

Haygen said she’s just happy Governor DeSantis is looking out for the seniors in not only the panhandle but statewide. Again, beginning Wednesday seniors can go to the Publix website to make a reservation. Vaccine distributions begin Thursday. When you go in for your first shot, you will make an appointment for your second shot.

For a list of all 26 Publix locations offering the vaccine, go to Publix News Releases.

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