ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Details still are being worked out between three pharmacies in Florida and the federal government to distribute COVID-19 vaccines.
The program, originally announced by the Trump administration in November, aims to get more locations participating in vaccine distribution. It is administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with Publix, Southeastern Grocers and Walmart participating in Florida.
Retail pharmacies are said to begin receiving doses the week of Feb. 8. While Publix and Walmart have yet to announce distribution dates, Winn-Dixie parent company Southeastern Grocers says it expects to administer the vaccine starting Feb. 11.
"COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge for everyone," the CDC says on its website. "Participating pharmacies will bill private and public insurance for the vaccine administration fee.
"...No one will receive a bill for a COVID-19 vaccine."
Not everyone who wants a vaccine will immediately be able to get one, however, as distribution at the pharmacies remains restricted to state guidance. In Florida, those currently eligible to receive a vaccine include people 65 years of age and older, health care personnel with direct patient contact and long-term care facility residents and staff.
Nationwide, about 6,500 pharmacies reportedly will receive a total of 1 million doses of vaccine on top of allocations to states.
10 Investigates reached out to each of Florida's participating pharmacies:
"While I can confirm that we are partaking in the federal program, the details are currently in progress. It would be premature to share at this time."
Southeastern Grocers (Winn-Dixie)
"Southeastern Grocers, Inc. (SEG), parent company and home of BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, in partnership with the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is in final preparations to offer access and administration of approximately 8,100 free Moderna COVID-19 vaccines throughout the state of Florida.
"As a preferred retail partner in the fight against COVID-19, SEG will begin to administer the free Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Feb. 11, to eligible recipients in select Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más and Harveys Supermarket locations through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program."
"We are working with state and federal health leaders and we have not landed on a delivery date or activation date at this time for the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida.
"We expect to release a full list of stores involved in the federal vaccine rollout and how state-designated priority groups can make an appointment in the coming weeks. Until then, we recently released a blog post regarding the federal program and our involvement."
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