coronavirus pandemic

Florida Vaccine Updates: Shots Available at Local Publix Pharmacies Next Week

Here's what we know today about the coronavirus outbreak in Florida, and the effort to stop it

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As a limited supply of the coronavirus vaccine has become available across Florida, residents are understandably anxious to know when they will be able to stand in line for a dose.

One of the biggest locations across most of the state will be reopening their online portal for signing up while several groups of essential workers could be next in line to get the vaccine.

Here's what we know today about the coronavirus outbreak in Florida, and the effort to stop it.

U.S. Army Airborne Division Deploying Soldiers to Orlando to Help with Vaccination Efforts

The 101st Airborne Division will deploy about 130 soldiers to Orlando to help the government with vaccination efforts there, a press release said.

The soldiers are expected to arrive on Friday, February 26.

The press release noted the soldiers are "part of the U.S. Army's larger effort to support FEMA vaccination centers."

Publix to Offer Vaccines at Miami-Dade, Broward Pharmacies

Publix will begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine at 136 pharmacies in Miami-Dade and Broward counties beginning March 1.

People 65 and over are eligible for a vaccine and can schedule an appointment starting at 7 a.m. Friday, Feb. 26, through the online reservation system at

New Vaccination Sites Opening in Underserved Areas in Miami-Dade, Broward

Six new COVID-19 vaccination sites including two in Miami-Dade and one in Broward will be opening to bring doses to some of Florida's underserved communities, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday.

Each of the six sites will be open seven days a week starting Thursday and will offer about 200 shots per day.

The three South Florida sites are Broward College North Campus, Oak Grove Park and an Overtown parking lot.

Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más to Offer Vaccine Doses in More Locations

Southeastern Grocers, parent company of Winn-Dixie and Fresco y Más grocery stores, will soon offer an additional 8,100 vaccine doses at 69 store locations. The company has partnered with the Florida Department of Health in order to roll out the vaccines.

Two of the new store locations are in Miami-Dade County: the Winn-Dixie on 1150 Northwest 54th Street, and the one on 1155 Northwest 11th Street.

For information on how to register, click here for Winn-Dixie stores and here for Fresco y Más.

Lauderdale Lakes Walmart Begins Drive-Thru Vaccinations

A Walmart in Lauderdale Lakes will begin drive-thru vaccinations for people 65 and over starting this morning.

The vaccinations are being offered as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, a collaboration between the federal government, states and territories, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The drive-thru vaccination site is by appointment only and currently only available at the Walmart in Lauderdale Lakes, located at 3001 N. State Road 7.

Seniors who are eligible for vaccinations can schedule an appointment by calling 833-886-0023.

The drive-thru site is being launched a day after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was deemed to be safe and effective by the FDA.

Jackson Health Schedules 600+ of Appointments for People Ages 55-64

About 1,200 first dose appointments for a vaccine were scheduled Wednesday at Jackson Health System, and 640 of them were for people ages 55-64 with an underlying medical condition.

It was the first day Jackson Health was inoculating younger age groups that were not existing patients.

Florida Adds 7,128 New COVID-19 Cases Wednesday, as State Reports Over 120 More Deaths

Florida reported more than 7,100 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, as the state's virus-related death toll increased by more than 120.

The 7,128 new confirmed COVID-19 cases brought Florida's total to 1,885,661 since the outbreak began.

Another 127 virus-related deaths among Florida residents were reported Wednesday, bringing the total to 30,340. An additional 538 non-resident deaths have been confirmed in the state to-date, an increase of two since Tuesday.

The positivity rate for new cases in the state was 5.99% in Wednesday's department of health coronavirus report, the third day in the past week it has been below 6%.

The positivity rate for all cases, including people who have already been tested, was 7.55%.

Nearly Half of Florida's Seniors Have Received Vaccine Shot: DeSantis

Nearly half of Florida's 4.5 million seniors have received a COVID-19 vaccine shot, as the state works to make more doses accessible to the elderly, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference at High Point Community in Brooksville, where a new vaccination site was opening for seniors 65 and older.

The site is one of many that have opened in the state to help bring vaccines to seniors who have yet to receive a shot at one of the state-run sites or retail sites in the state where they are being distributed through appointments made online.

FDA Says J&J's 1-Dose Vaccine Is Safe and Effective, Paving Way for Approval

Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine offers strong protection against severe COVID-19, according to an analysis by U.S. regulators Wednesday that sets the stage for a final decision on a new and easier-to-use shot to help tame the pandemic.

The Food and Drug Administration’s scientists confirmed that overall the vaccine is about 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19, and about 85% effective against the most serious illness. The agency also said J&J's shot — one that could help speed vaccinations by requiring just one dose instead of two — is safe to use.

Publix Reopening Vaccine Reservations Wednesday After Weather Disruptions

Publix will be reopening its COVID-19 vaccine online appointment reservation system for Florida Wednesday after bad weather led to delays in doses arriving to the state.

Reservations for appointments at 273 stores in 20 Florida counties will open up at 7 a.m. Wednesday, the company said in a statement. In accordance with the state’s guidelines, vaccinations are currently being provided to individuals ages 65 and older.

For more information visit

Navarro Pharmacies, Select CVS Locations in Miami-Dade to Offer Vaccines to Seniors

Seniors in South Florida will be getting new options for getting the COVID-19 vaccine at certain pharmacies starting Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference Tuesday in Hialeah.

DeSantis announced all 31 Navarro Discount Pharmacies in Miami-Dade County as well as all 35 CVS y Mas Pharmacies would begin to schedule appointments.

Additionally, four CVS locations in South Florida - one in Miami-Dade, two in Broward and one in Palm Beach - would also begin to schedule appointments Wednesday. As of Wednesday morning, locations in both Miami-Dade and Broward had spots available.

Some Florida Teachers, Law Enforcement Could Soon Be Eligible for Vaccines

Certain Florida teachers and law enforcement members could soon be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines, DeSantis said Tuesday.

DeSantis said the state could soon offer vaccine shots to classroom teachers, law enforcement officers and firefighters 50 and older.

DeSantis said the opening next week of four new federally supported vaccination sites, including one at Miami-Dade College, could make it possible.

Florida Vaccines Flow to Seniors — Who Happen to Trend Republican

As he travels the state distributing coronavirus vaccine and repeating his mantra -- Seniors first -- Gov. Ron DeSantis has received praise from grateful seniors, but also criticism from others who say he is using the vaccine to reward conservative, affluent retirement communities.

A review by the NBC 6 Investigators of vaccination rates and counties' concentrations of people 65 and older finds no evidence of political bias in how the shots are flowing.

Instead, there is evidence shots are going in greater rates to older counties -- following the strategy DeSantis laid out based on public health guidance -- and polling shows older voters in Florida happen to trend conservative and vote Republican.

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