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More vaccines heading to Florida as part of federal retail pharmacy program

We learned Monday vaccines are heading to more Florida pharmacies this week. The federal program is sending those doses directly to certain big box stores.

According to CDC website, companies will take part in the federal retail pharmacy program.

Florida will be limited to three of the participating stores at least to start. It includes Publix, Walmart and Winn-Dixie.

Winn-Dixie announced it plans to start vaccinating Thursday. The grocery store chain has approximately 8,100 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

According to the Winn-Dixie website, it has a “What you need to know section,” but when you click on it, it doesn’t list any available locations yet.

A Winn-Dixie spokesperson told us the best option is to monitor the website to see when you can make an appointment.

Walmart has less information on its website. The supermarket chain also encourages everyone to keep checking back for more information.

Publix already vaccinates Floridians through Florida Department of Health. It’s unclear what increase in vaccine supply Publix will get under the federal program and whether that means the chain will open more locations in Collier and Charlotte counties.

Participating organizations that are not yet on the list in the state are CVS and Walgreens pharmacies.

In a statement, CVS told us, “Once the program is fully operational, vaccines will eventually be available at CVS Pharmacy locations throughout the country, with the capacity to administer 20 to 25 million shots per month.

As part of the federal program, the doses set to go come to Florida are in addition to what is received through the State’s vaccination plan. Florida U.S. Congressman Darren Soto sits on the congressional committee that oversees the CDC. He is pushing for the federal health agency to add CVS and Walgreens to Florida’s list immediately because he says too many people do not have access to a large grocery store.

MORE: CDC – Understanding the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination

Reporter:Morgan Rynor
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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