CLEWISTON — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday, Feb. 9, that several Walmart, Sam’s Club and Winn-Dixies stores in the state will be administering the COVID-19 vaccine, to those who are eligible, starting this week. The federal government is providing the vaccine at no cost.
Walmart in Clewiston and LaBelle were reportedly scheduled to begin giving COVID vaccines as soon as Feb. 11.
“Hendry DOH will get 500 new first doses this week. We will schedule appointments via Share Care system on Wednesday and Thursday,” explained County Commissioner Ramon Iglesias. “This Federal Pharmacy Program began on Feb. 11 and it looks like we will get first doses sent to both Walmart’s and one Winn Dixie in Hendry County. There are many independent pharmacies that are not enrolled in the Federal Pharmacy Program and they will not receive this vaccine yet.”
Saturday, Feb. 13, Walmart’s website offered a portal for vaccine appointment registration, though no immediate appointments were available. Hendry County residents were frustrated but hopeful at the opening of the website.
“It’s hard and somewhat scary to have to be patient, but I believe they are just working on getting set up, and we will be able to make our appointments soon," said Emma Fairley, an elderly Clewiston resident. “I made my granddaughter show me how to get on the website to make an appointment for when the time comes. Now, I plan to help my friends do it, too. A lot of us are not computer literate and it’s confusing.”
“I keep checking the Walmart website repeatedly,” said, Jamie Avery, a LaBelle resident and senior citizen. “I don’t want to miss it.”
Commissioner Iglesias urged those eligible for the vaccines to, “Please Pre-Register for vaccine and Get in line at https://myvaccine.fl.gov/ the process is simple, however after you get the appointment you still need to log in and register. This will speed up the process at the vaccination site.” He added, “You can even call to the County Share Care line for info and pre-register: Hendry Share Cares 866-201-6745, Glades Share Cares 866-201-6695.”