Demand outstripping supply as Publix offers COVID-19 vaccinations

Publix Super Markets are offering COVID-19 vaccination appointments at 19 locations throughout Pasco County.

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccine doses expanded this week, but demand continues to outstrip supply.

On Feb. 3, Pasco and Pinellas joined 19 other Florida counties as those with select Publix Super Market pharmacies administering COVID-19 vaccinations. In a matter of hours, appointments to receive the first of two doses were booked in both Pasco and Pinellas counties.

Similar to Florida Department of Health websites in all 67 counties, Publix is updating its vaccination efforts online at publix.com/covid-vaccine/florida. As of Thursday afternoon, Feb. 4, all appointments were booked at every Publix location involved with vaccine distribution.

“There is tremendous demand for the vaccine and a limited supply,” the Publix website stated on Feb. 4.

Vaccination appointments reopen at 7 a.m., Friday, Feb. 5. The supermarket chain said customer feedback moved it to push back the start time to book appointments online by an hour. It initially opened at 6 a.m.

Vaccination appointments at Publix pharmacies must be scheduled online and cannot be made by calling individual locations.

Publix currently lists 19 Pasco locations offering vaccination appointments, including five in New Port Richey, two in Hudson, two in Odessa, one in Lutz, one in Port Richey and one in Trinity. (View the image coinciding with this article to view precise locations and addresses.)

Requirements to receive the COVID-19 vaccination at Publix are the same as those in place to receive doses from the Department of Health in Pasco County. Individuals must be Florida residents and provide proof of residency. Eligible recipients are healthcare personnel with direct patient contact, residents and staff of long-term healthcare facilities and adults aged 65 and older.

Residency can be proven by providing a valid Florida driver’s license or identification card issued by the Florida State Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If neither of these are on hand, individuals can present any two of six documents that reflect a Florida residential address. These items are listed below and online at publix.com/covid-vaccine/florida.

  • Category A: a deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet or residential rental or lease agreement
  • Category B: a utility hookup or utility work order dated within 60 days before the date of vaccination
  • Category C: a utility bill dated within two months of the date of vaccination
  • Category D: mail from a financial institution, including checking, savings or investment account statements, dated within two months of the date of vaccination
  • Category E: mail from a federal, state, county or municipal government agency, dated within two months of the date of vaccination
  • Category F: proof of a Florida residential address for the individual’s parent, stepparent, legal guardian or other person with whom the seasonal resident resides in Florida, plus, a written statement from the person with whom the seasonal resident resides stating that the seasonal resident does reside with him or her.

DOH-Pasco continues coordinating with the county and community hospitals and other organizations to distribute its limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses. Drive-thru vaccination clinics have operated from the Sears at Gulf View Square Mall in Port Richey and Saint Leo University.

Appointments are required to participate at these locations, as well. Individuals must first create an account with CDR Maguire Health and Medical at PatientPortalFL.com or call 1-844-770-8548. The account allows users to register for available appointments.

A total of 1,700 first-dose vaccines are being administered this week, through Friday, Feb. 5, at the Gulf View Square Mall and St. Leo University locations. As of the afternoon of Feb. 4, DOH-Pasco had not announced updated vaccination dates and quantities available.