Walmart, Winn-Dixie could be next to administer COVID-19 vaccine in Florida

Two more names might enter the vaccination game.

Walmart and Winn-Dixie could soon join the ranks with Publix to vaccinate Floridians. Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday the goal would be tens of thousands of people a week.

Don’t go calling those stores yet. The state says it’s not quite sure when this would begin.

Still, more options to get vaccinated can’t come soon enough to Floridians.

“I’ve had friends that died, friends that are terminally ill because of it,” Jeff Thorne said.

Thorne knows COVID-19 is no joke.

“I don’t want the virus,” Thorne said. “I am probably high risk, and I don’t want to take the chance.”

To hear DeSantis say the federal pharmacy program will send extra vaccines to Florida and place them in stores such as Walmart, Winn-Dixie and Publix is a big deal.

“Any will help. Any more the state can get, the demand is there,” Pat Johns said. “And people want to get it as quickly as possible.”

The state doesn’t know how many added doses of the vaccine it will receive yet.

“Could be tens of thousands,” DeSantis said publicly. “You know, maybe even a little bit more than that, maybe a little less.”

Any doses received will be the icing on the cake.

“But the good news is whatever they’re doing, even if it’s just 5,000 a week, that is not part of Florida’s scheduled allotment, so that’s in addition to what we have,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis says this will help get the vaccine in as many communities in Florida as they can. There is no time frame when this program will start currently.

Still, it’s another step closer to vaccinating everyone who needs it.

“There are just more people that want it than they are available, so that’s why this will help so much,” Johns said.

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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