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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida and WUSF can help. Our responsibility at WUSF News is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Publix Stores In Hernando County To Administer Coronavirus Vaccine

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Carl Lisciandrello/WUSF Public Media
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The stores are among 22 in a pilot program across the state that will begin administering the vaccine starting Friday.

Publix locations in Hernando County are among 22 across the state that will soon be able to administer the coronavirus vaccine.

In a news conference Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Division of Emergency Management and Florida Department of Health has partnered with Publix to begin vaccinations on Friday.

Those interested in receiving the vaccine must do so by making an appointment, starting Thursday.

They are only available at this time to priority groups: long-term care facility staff and residents, people 65 or older and health care workers.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to increase vaccinations and put Florida’s seniors first, I’m pleased to announce this innovative partnership with Publix,” DeSantis said in a statement. “At the end of the day, we are all in this together, and the state of Florida thanks Publix for their willingness to step up and lend their infrastructure to this critical cause.”

DeSantis said the grocery store chain will receive 15,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

In addition to the 11 Hernando County locations, the pilot program will include three in Citrus County and eight in Marion County.

Publix has posted a list of the stores and other information here. Each store is expected to offer 120 vaccines per day, or as supplies last.

DeSantis said if the pilot program goes well, Publix could offer vaccines at more Publix locations.

"I’ve made clear to Publix that, if we’re able to do this, if it’s efficient, if people have a good response to it, you know, my goal would be to work with them and all their pharmacies,” DeSantis said.

The vaccinations are free but customers are asked to bring a photo ID and proof of insurance if they have it.

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