VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Select Publix stores are now offering the COVID-19 vaccine to senior residents in Brevard, Flagler, and Volusia counties.

What You Need To Know

Publix now offers the vaccination program in 23 Florida counties, including four in the Tampa Bay area and four in Central Florida .

Brevard, Flagler, and Volusia counties joined Citrus, Marion, and Hernando counties in the Publix vaccination program.

Publix says it offers 22 vaccination sites in Brevard County, 22 in Volusia County, 12 in Marion County, and four in Flagler County.

The Publix locations in Citrus, Marion, and Hernando counties administer about 125 shots every day, DeSantis said recently. Some Publix stores in Pinellas County also recently started providing the vaccinations.

“We’re not stopping here,” he said at a recent news conference. “As you’ve probably heard on the news, they’re talking about releasing more vaccines sooner. We have the ability to do it, Publix has the ability to do it, and we want to continue following the models that work.”

DeSantis directed seniors to the vaccination page on the Publix website.

Publix spokeswoman Maria Brous told Spectrum News recently that to prevent a crash of its system, the company was closely monitoring the distribution of shots and opening the system as appointments become available.

“So customers should continue to check back at publix.com/covid-vaccine until they receive a message that tells them appointments are no longer available,” Brous said. “If it tells them to keep checking back shortly, they should continue refreshing their page.”

Those eligible to get the vaccine include people age 65 and over, health care personnel with direct patient contact, and residents in long-term health care facilities, Publix says.

DeSantis said the Publix partnership focuses for now on medium-size counties with heavy senior populations that lack access to the health care infrastructure and vaccine distribution of major counties such as Orange, Hillsborough, and Pinellas. The governor said he aims to expand the program to as many counties as supply allows.

“We have hospitals doing a lot of vaccinations,” DeSantis said. “We’ve got some of these community sites, drive-ins, and that’s all good, but Publix is in every community, and if we can get it more in every community, it’s going to be easier for people to get the vaccines.”

He said he doesn’t see Publix requiring vaccination recipients to live within the county of the store in which they’re getting vaccinated.

“They have stores that are right on county borders, and those are their customers, but we are saying that … this really is for Floridians. Obviously, we have some people who live here only half the year. That’s fine.”

The governor also used his news conference to trumpet his emphasis on the vaccination of seniors and to reiterate plans to partner with churches in the vaccination of residents age 65 and over.

“We put seniors first,” he said. “I can tell you the sense of relief that a 73-year-old gets from this is not the same as if you vaccinate a 20-year-old worker somewhere.”