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Florida working to offer COVID-19 vaccine at places of worship

New vaccination site opens at Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola
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Posted at 10:29 AM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 10:29:30-05

PENSACOLA, Fla. — In an effort to increase the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine to senior citizens in Florida, the state is planning to offer shots at places of worship like churches.

Speaking in Pensacola on Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said vaccinations are now being given at Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola and the Milton Community Center, both of which are in the Florida Panhandle.

"We need to be ready to go into the community, particularly vaccinating our senior citizens," DeSantis said. "That is going to be our priority when we're talking about the broader community."

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Florida working to offer COVID-19 vaccine at places of worship

The governor said each site will do about 1,000 vaccinations per day over the next two days for residents who are 65 and older.

Both sites are run by Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital.

On Tuesday, DeSantis announced that 22 Publix pharmacies in Marion, Citrus, and Hernando counties will administer the COVID-19 vaccine to people 65 and older. Appointments will open up on Thursday and the first shots will be given on Friday.

"People will be able to go online, make a reservation, and go and get shots at their Publix," DeSantis said.

The governor said that if the program works smoothly, it could be expanded to other Publix stores throughout the state.

"The demand is strong, and we're gonna work to make sure that supply can meet it," DeSantis said.

According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, 289,773 people have received the COVID-19 in the Sunshine State since Dec. 22.