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Publix hopes to expand vaccine pilot following large demand

Appointments for the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine doses went fast on the first day.

SPRING HILL, Fla. — It’s a big day for Publix. The Supermarket giant rolled out its brand new pilot program to vaccinate customers for COVID-19 on Thursday and very quickly filled up appointments for all 15,000 doses.

Those vaccinations are only being offered at a few test locations in Hernando, Citrus and Marion counties.

“Our teams are well equipped. We had a really smooth rollout day so far,” said Publix Media Relations manager Nicole Krauss.

The vaccinations are scheduled for every 5 minutes over the coming days with each store pharmacy delivering a total of 120 vaccinations a day.

Customers must be at least 65 years old and need to make an appointment online at Publix.com/COVIDvaccine.

You don’t have to live in the county where the vaccination is offered and the shot is free of charge.

“The great thing too is that it’s free to everyone,” Krauss said. If you’re insured, you show your insurance card. If you are not insured, you share your driver's license or Social Security number.”

As expected, the available appointments for the first shipment of 15,000 doses, ran out quickly when the Publix appointment site went live.

But that doesn’t mean you’ve missed out on your opportunity to get vaccinated.

Publix says it will be opening up additional appointments as soon as new vaccine shipments come in with hopes to potentially expand the program to the other 750 plus Publix pharmacies throughout Florida.

Publix says people should check back daily to see if more appointments become available. More information about the COVID-19 vaccine at Publix can be found here.

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