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Florida Walmarts to begin vaccine rollout Feb. 12

Posted at 6:25 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 18:25:41-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Walmart will open 119 new vaccine clinics across the state Friday, in partnership with the federal government.

Employees believe the stores are ready to give a hand in the communities where seniors need it most.

"It has been extremely exciting," said Walmart Regional Health and Wellness Director Brandi Vosberg.

Vosberg said stores are ready to begin rolling out coronavirus vaccines across Florida and Georgia. The store estimates 65,300 doses will be distributed this week, and all of them will be by appointment only. Vosberg said canceled appointments will not be an issue.

"We're not going to make an appointment unless we can guarantee the administering of the vaccination," said Vosberg. "We're not overbooking. We're actually going to be able to administer the correct number based on the allocation we get from the federal government."

The vaccine expansion is much needed in Leon County. The Department of Health reports about 48,000 doses of the vaccine have been given out in the county, with at least 14,000 people receiving both doses.

So far, more than 35,000 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the health department.

"We want to make sure as many people to get it as possible so the more sites come online the better," said Tallahassee Commissioner Jeremy Matlow.

City leaders are stepping up to make sure those appointments are kept. StarMetro is offering free rides to vaccination sites with proof for an appointment.

"Transportation is obviously a barrier," said Matlow. "If you can't make it to a vaccine site, they're not in everybody's neighborhood. So transportation to get there is critical."

All appointments are currently full through next week at Walmart, Sam's Club and Publix in Leon County. They are urging people to keep checking the website for appointment updates.