Sixteen Publix stores in Collier County are set to become vaccination sites beginning Thursday.
Publix and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday the availability of COVID-19 vaccinations in Collier, Flagler, St. Johns and Volusia counties. The expansion is part of DeSantis’ allocation of additional doses of the Moderna vaccine to be administered to individuals ages 65 and older.
Many of the appointments, though, were taken before the formal announcements were made.
Pat Ellis is 75 years old, she said. Her husband is 79.
“We’d like to spend the last few years of our life just living it,” Ellis said.
Ellis and others watched as DeSantis made the noon announcement at the Publix at The Shoppes at Pebblebrook.
“My best friend had COVID and almost died,” Ellis, a Collier County resident, said.
Partnering with Publix is a good way to get the vaccine into the community, said DeSantis who has been on a tour crisscrossing Florida recently to highlight the partnership with the grocery store.
“Not every place has as many hospitals doing this as others … We have other places like Miami-Dade, they have really big systems that are turning out a lot,” he said. “Other places aren’t as robust.”
DeSantis said the plan is to get to Lee County soon, but for now they have chosen areas with heavy senior populations and good Publix footprints.
“And so again, as we get that doses, if that can work, we will absolutely expand it into Lee,” DeSantis said.
For Rick Nelter, a Naples resident, the rollout has left much to be desired.
“Let’s get this thing going,” Nelter said. “I mean the roll out has been way too slow, in my opinion.”
WATCH DeSantis’s press conference below or click here.
Eligible individuals can make appointments beginning Wednesday, using the online reservation system at publix.com/covidvaccine, with vaccinations starting Thursday, Jan. 14. The announcement brings the total number of Publix pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccinations to 105 in 12 counties.
“For 90 years, Publix has served its customers and communities in times of need,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “Our ability to provide these vaccinations to Florida’s 65-and-older population is a privilege. We are grateful to Governor DeSantis for his willingness to work with us to serve our communities.”
Vaccinations are provided to eligible individuals, by appointment only, while supplies last and at no cost to the individual, according to Publix’s press release. Customers with health insurance will need to bring their insurance card to their scheduled appointment. Those without health insurance will need to provide their driver’s license or Social Security number.
The locations are:
- #622, Marco Town Center
1089 N. Collier Blvd., Suite 401 Naples
- #32, Shoppes at Hammock Cove
4370 Thomasson Drive
- #410, Berkshire Commons
7101 Radio Road
- #414, Riverchase Shopping Center
11200 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 2200
- #453, Crossroads Market Shopping Center
5991 Pine Ridge Road
- #488, Pine Ridge Crossing Shopping Center
2310 Pine Ridge Road
- #516, Freedom Square
12663 Tamiami Trail E.
- #635, Pelican Strand
5624 Strand Blvd.
- #676, Naples Walk
2450 Vanderbilt Beach Road
- #781, The Shoppes at Pebblebrook
15265 Collier Boulevard
- #811, Naples Lakes Village Center
8585 Collier Blvd
- #1208, Brooks Village
12975 Collier Blvd., Suite 200
- #1337, Marketplace at Pelican Bay
8833 North Tamiami Trail
- #1434, Naples Plaza
1981 Tamiami Trail North
- #1458, Kings Lake Square
4860 Davis Blvd.
- #1527, Neighborhood Shoppes at Orangetree
13550 Immokalee Rd.
Visit the Publix website’s vaccine page to schedule an appointment once they become available.