Publix Super Markets has begun providing Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations in Florida, as the state grapples with a rise in cases.
The Pfizer vaccine is now available to people ages 12 and older at all Publix in-store pharmacies in Florida’s Brevard, Duval, Orange and Polk counties, the Lakeland, Fla.-based grocer said yesterday.
Publix noted that it’s the first time that the company is offering customer the Pfizer COVID vaccine, which requires two shots taken 21 days apart. The retailer said its pharmacies continue to offer the Moderna vaccine and have a limited supply of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, both of which are available to those ages 18 and older. For the Pfizer vaccine, in-person parental or legal guardian consent is required at the time of immunization for children ages 12 to 17.
Though not required, appointments for the Pfizer vaccine will become available via Publix’s online reservation system starting on Aug. 12, and same-day appointments may be available, the supermarket chain said.
Among states, Florida now leads in daily COVID-19 infections, driven by the fast-spreading Delta variant of the virus. Over the past seven days, Florida has a daily average of 21,169 COVID cases, ahead of more populous states California (12,074 daily cases) and Texas (14,117 daily cases), according to federal, state and local data compiled by The New York Times. In Florida, 49.8% of the population is fully vaccinated, just under the national percentage of 50.3%, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.
Publix has accepted walk-ins for COVID-19 vaccinations at all of its 1,000-plus pharmacies since May 10. The grocer, however, is still recommending appointments “for the most efficient vaccination experience” as well as to ensure that customers’ preferred vaccine is available.
Publix began providing COVID-19 vaccines in all seven Southeastern states where it operates in April, when it opened its online reservation system to customers in Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina. The company passed the 1 million mark in coronavirus shots administered in mid-March and then reached 1.5 million vaccinations in early April. Then in mid-April, Publix said its online reservation system will remain continuously open to book vaccine appointments.
Overall, Publix operates 1,274 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.