Publix adds dozens of vaccine sites in Sarasota, Manatee
Longboat Key store among 24 new options for seniors in Sarasota County; 17 Publix stores in Manatee also now accepting vaccine applications.
| 9:00 a.m. February 10, 2021
Longboat Key is getting a COVID-19 vaccination site, along with dozens of other sites at Publix Super Markets in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Starting Friday, the Publix at 525 Bay Isles Parkway will be among the 24 Sarasota County stores offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people who use the chain’s online registration system. Another 17 Publix stores in Manatee County are also now available. Registration began Wednesday morning for appointments Friday, Feb. 12 through Sunday, Feb. 14.
The Publix in Longboat Key will administer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Eligibility for appointments is in accordance with state guidelines, meaning people can register if they are 65 and older.
“We would very much be interested in the Florida Department of Health having a site out here, but we would also be just as excited to see the Publix or the CVS or others, doctor offices, etc. offer it,” Harmer said.
Publix said it will open its registration system two additional times in the near future: at 7 a.m. Friday and Monday. Registration on Friday will be for appointments Feb. 15-16, and Monday's registration is for appointments Feb. 17-18.
A Publix spokesperson told the Observer the company does not share the number of appointments available by county until the morning of registration, at which point the information is available online.
Wednesday’s announcement comes as Publix, the state of Florida and federal government expanded appointment availability to 593 Publix pharmacies in 41 Florida counties. Before Wednesday, Publix offered the vaccine at 324 of its locations in 23 Florida counties, which did not include stores in Manatee and Sarasota counties at the time.
“With the addition of doses provided by the federal government, we are able to offer more Florida residents the opportunity to be vaccinated,” Publix CEO Todd Jones said in a news release. “It is our privilege to serve during this time as we all work together to reduce the impact of the coronavirus in the state of Florida.”
The governor’s release also states Walmart and Sam’s Club will offer the vaccine at 119 locations, but it does not include Manatee and Sarasota counties.
For weeks, Longboat Key leaders have had discussions with the health department in Manatee and Sarasota counties to get a vaccine site on the island.
Earlier this month, Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier wrote a letter to DeSantis on behalf of the town, asking the governor to prioritize distributing the COVID-19 valine to the most vulnerable populations.
As of Tuesday morning, data from the Florida Department of Health shows about 2,153 people from Longboat Key’s 34228 ZIP code have received the vaccine. There are about 7,000 full-time residents in Longboat Key, of which about 69% are older than 65.
Click or tap here to view a full list of Publix locations in Florida offering the COVID-19 vaccine.