Publix Supermarkets is making “a limited number of Covid-19 vaccines” available at four Publix stores in Flagler County starting now. But as has been the case with vaccines offered by local health departments in Flagler and elsewhere, all available vaccine appointments were snapped up as soon as they were made available.
Appointments may be made online here. But expect to get this message: “Please check back again shortly, as more COVID-19 vaccine appointments may become available.” Those eligible are advised to keep trying until more appointments are made available.
Publix started offering the vaccine in 24 stores in four counties over a week ago, offering 100 to 125 shots a day per location. The program expanded to additional stores since. On Tuesday, Four Pandhandle counties were added. Today, Publix added stores in Flagler, Volusia, St. Johns and Collier counties to the list.
Some 100 to 125 shots a day are offered each day per location, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who made the announcement about the latest availability during a news conference in Collier County this morning.
The vaccines is offered at the following Publix locations in Flagler:
- Publix at Palm Coast Town Center, 800 Belle Terre Pkwy., Palm Coast.
- Belle Terre Crossings, 4950 Belle Terre Pkwy, Palm Coast.
- Island Walk at Palm Coast, 250 Palm Coast Pkwy. NE Palm Coast.
- Beach Village, 414 Beach Village Drive, off State Road 100, Flagler Beach.
The vaccine is also offered at 22 Publix stores in Volusia County, including some stores just across the Flagler County line, where local residents are allowed to also attempt to get a shot. Those stores include:
- Publix at Halifax Plantation Village, 3750 Roscommon Drive, Ormond Beach.
- The Trails Shopping Center, 220 North Nova Road, Ormond Beach.
- Ormond Beach Mall, 1258 Ocean Shore Blvd., Ormond Beach.
- Ormond Towne Square, 1478 West Granada Boulevard, Ormond Beach.
A full list of Publix stores making vaccines available is accessible here.
As soon as DeSantis made the announcement this morning, the vaccine appointments were filled.
“You can make an appointment for the 65 and up, you come in here, they have everything set up, you sign in, you go, you sign the form, they do the shot, you wait for 15 minutes, and you’re out the door,” DeSantis said. “They space it out, reservations only so people aren;t crowded in, and they get through a lot of people. So if you look at 16 stores in Collier, that’s a minimum of 1,600 people a day that Publix would do, probably more, because they’re probably going to do more than 100, probably 125. So we think this is a good way to get this into communities for seniors. Not every place has as many hospitals doing this as others.”
In Flagler County, the hospital, as in many other counties, has its own supply of vaccines for its staff and patients deemed eligible. The Flagler County Health Department and the county’s emergency management division, which coordinate vaccine availability through the department, depleted their allotment of 1,700 doses very rapidly by last week, and expect no new shipments any time soon. It isn’t clear how or why Publix stores are getting vaccines, but local health departments such as Flagler’s are not. On the other hand, local departments have been overburdened with pandemic-crisis responses on various fronts. So having other agencies or businesses lighten the load is more a relief than a problem.
As of today, some 105 Publix pharmacies in 12 counties are offering the vaccine. “That’s going to be a really really big deal,” DeSantis said. “You figure 105 locations, at least 100 shots a day at each one, probably more like 125. That’s going to really, really be good.”
No walkups are taken, no camping out is necessary, or useful.
Jane Mealy, the Flagler Beach city commissioner, this morning tried to secure a vaccine appointment through Publix. “For about an hour I was getting this very scratchy message saying you can’t get though, call back.” When she finally got information, she was told to do it online, where the slots were filled. “Very frustrating.” Mealy eventually got on the Flagler County call-back list for an appointment likely no sooner than a month from now, she said.
“We do not have a waiting list,” the answer to a frequently asked question at the county states, “instead, we have a call-back list. When we have appointments available, we will call back small groups of people on this list to offer them an appointment. You may not hear back from us for months, it all depends on the availability of vaccines. To be added to the list please call 386-313-4200, Mon-Fri 9am – 4pm.”