If you’re 40 or older, you can get a head start on signing up for a COVID vaccine

Brooke Baitinger, South Florida Sun Sentinel
·2 min read

Floridians age 40 and older can get a head start on signing up for a COVID vaccine before the state’s eligibility expands on Monday.

Floridians age 40 or older register for vaccine appointments at Publix starting at 7 a.m. Friday.

They can use Publix’s online reservation system to make appointments for vaccinations at Florida stores with in-store pharmacies that are participating in the vaccination program, the retailer said in a news release. That does not apply in stores in Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, according to the online registration system.

Appointments reserved on Friday would be for the following Monday, the release said. Appointments cannot be made by calling Publix or the Publix Pharmacy, the retailer said.

Publix said it would follow the federal directive to prioritize vaccinations for teachers, school staff, child care workers in pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools, as well as Head Start and Early Head Start programs (including teachers, staff, and bus drivers), and those who work as or for licensed child care providers, including center-based and family care providers.

After people in those groups finish making appointments, remaining appointments will be available to anyone over 40. Second-dose appointments are not affected by the change, Publix said.

It’s likely most pharmacies and health-care districts will take the same approach, but none had announced their plans Thursday afternoon. In Florida, vaccines also are offered at retailers Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and Winn-Dixie as well as state and federally supported sites.

Publix said in the release that those eligible can reserve a time for a Monday or Tuesday appointment for the Moderna vaccine on Friday. Those who make their reservations on Monday can schedule their appointment to receive the Moderna vaccine on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Those who want the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should reserve an appointment on Wednesday for Saturday and Sunday, the release said.

Adults who are eligible for a vaccine because they’re extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 are required to bring a signed and completed form from the state’s Department of Health website or documentation signed by their physician, Publix said.

Every Florida resident age 18 and older will be eligible to receive a COVID vaccine on April 5, Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

Publix administers vaccines in 43 counties that have in-store pharmacies in Florida.

This is a developing story, so check back for updates. Click here to have breaking news alerts sent directly to your inbox.