LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – Publix is set to receive 70,000 coronavirus vaccine doses from the state this week, a Florida Department of Emergency Management spokesperson tells 8 On Your Side.
This comes after winter weather across the country delayed shipment for several days.
“Vaccine shipments are currently delayed due to inclement weather,” reads the statement on the Publix COVID-19 vaccine website.
It has yet to announce its next scheduling event, but will post updates on the next opportunity to sign up on its site.
Earlier in the month, Publix announced it had vaccinated more than 250,000 Floridians and administered 100% of the doses it had received.
In addition to the 70,000 doses it is set to receive this week from the state of Florida, Publix also receives vaccines directly from the federal government.
“Once additional vaccine is received, we will announce the next opportunity for vaccine appointment scheduling,” wrote Maria Brous, Publix Director of Communications.
Second doses were not impacted by the shipment delay. Customers with appointments for their second dose should arrive at the Publix Pharmacy at their scheduled date and time.
“I checked out Publix. That was frustrating,” said Lakeland resident Ron Tomlin. “I’d like to get the vaccine. I’d like to get it behind me, move on with life a little bit.”
Tomlin found the Publix’s online sign-up process difficult.
“It is a long game so this may not be the only delay that we encounter but we sure hope it is,” said Dr. Steven Achinger from Watson Clinic.
Watson Clinic in Lakeland is about four days behind on its vaccinations due to the delay.
“The brief delay that we’re experiencing, while a minor blip, will probably not have a major impact, continued delays is just going to obviously hamper our efforts,” Achinger said.
The issue, Achinger says, involves the race against the COVID-19 variants.
“The more cases that develop in the community, the more chance there are for these variants to take hold. We want to get our population immune as quickly as possible,” he said.