Publix Super Markets has administered its 1 millionth dose of COVID‑19 vaccine in Florida.
Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix said yesterday it reached the milestone in addition to providing more than 140,000 coronavirus shots through pharmacy locations in Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia.
Publix began administering COVID vaccinations in early January, starting in Florida with 15,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine.
“When Publix was approached to assist in administering these life-saving vaccines, we didn’t hesitate to say yes because we believe it is a privilege to care for our communities during a time of need,” Publix CEO Todd Jones said in a statement. “I’m extremely proud of our pharmacy, store and support teams for their hard work over the past 10 weeks. Their dedication and commitment to service have played a large part in the success of our efforts.”
Publix has been one of the most active supermarket chains in apprising customers of COVID vaccine availability, regularly announcing dates when its online reservation system at publix.com/covidvaccine becomes open for appointments, based on supply. The company surpassed 250,000 vaccinations in Florida and 50,000 doses administered in Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia in mid-February.
Yesterday, Publix opened its online reservation system for COVID‑19 vaccination appointments at 70 pharmacies in 31 counties in Georgia, with federal guidelines requiring priority given to K-12 teachers and other school staff and child care workers, based on the grocer’s participation in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, which allocates the vaccine directly to pharmacies.
Also eligible for shots, according to Georgia state guidelines, are health care workers; law enforcement, firefighters and first responders; people ages 18 and older with disabilities and certain medical conditions; people ages 55 and older; judges and court staff; parents of children with complex medical conditions; caregivers; and residents and staff of long-term care facilities.
Earlier this week, Publix opened its reservation system for coronavirus shots at 55 South Carolina pharmacies in 16 counties for appointments available March 18 to 24, excluding Saturday and Sunday.
The COVID-19 vaccines are provided at no cost, though customers with health insurance are asked to bring their insurance card to their appointment and Medicare recipients their Medicare Part B card. Those without health insurance will need to provide their driver’s license or Social Security number.
Publix said it continues to communicate with other states in its operating area to provide COVID vaccinations as part of its distribution efforts. Overall, the retailer operates 1,268 stores — including over 1,000 pharmacies — in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.