Johnson & Johnson Vaccine - Who's eligible ?

More people are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. The State of Florida has lowered the age to receive a vaccine to anyone age 60 and older. And, regardless of age, Publix says that teachers are moving to the front of the line for the vaccine.

In compliance with the U.S. government’s guidelines for the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, Publix will begin prioritizing the following groups for vaccine appointments until further notice:
  • Teachers, school staff and child care workers who work in, pre-primary, primary and secondary schools. Head Start and Early Head Start programs (including teachers, staff and bus drivers)
  • Those who work as or for licensed child care providers, including center-based and family care providers.
Publix will follow this new directive during its next COVID‑19 vaccine scheduling opportunity in Florida on Wednesday, according to a press release

After those in the prioritized group are finished making appointments, any remaining appointments will be available to other eligible individuals.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Publix Pharmacy has received its first shipment of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID‑19 vaccine. With this distribution, Publix will begin administering both the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines in its Florida pharmacies. To allow eligible individuals to choose which vaccine they will receive, starting March 10, every Wednesday scheduling opportunity will be dedicated exclusively for appointments to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.


In accordance with state and federal requirements, the following groups are currently eligible to receive vaccinations: all K‑12 and child care teachers and personnel (the prioritized group referenced earlier); adults under the age of 65 who are determined to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 by a physician (a completed state of Florida form signed by a physician is required); health care professionals with direct patient contact and residents or staff members of long-term care facilities; individuals ages 50 and older who are firefighters or sworn law enforcement officers; and individuals ages 65 and older.


Vaccinations are provided by appointment only, while supplies last, through the online reservation system. Appointments cannot be made by calling Publix or the Publix Pharmacy.

The online reservation system will open Wednesday at 7 a.m. Eastern time for any individual who meets state and federal requirements, with priority given to school and child care teachers and personnel as directed by the federal government. Appointments made on Wednesday will be to receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID‑19 vaccine on either Saturday or Sunday.

Moving forward, eligible individuals can plan to access the online reservation system to make appointments as follows, as long as Publix continues to receive vaccine doses from the state and federal governments and barring unforeseen circumstances. Appointments may not be available in every county during every scheduling opportunity:

Scheduling opportunity

Appointment days

Vaccine provided


Wednesday ­– Friday



Saturday – Sunday

Johnson & Johnson


Monday – Tuesday


Customers with appointments for their second dose of the Moderna vaccine are not impacted by any variations in scheduling opportunities and should arrive at the COVID-19 vaccine check-in area at their scheduled date and time.

Required documentation

Adults under the age of 65 who rely on the state’s criteria of being extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 to be eligible are required to provide the completed official state form that can be found at the Florida Department of Health website and must be signed by a physician.

The most up-to-date information about Publix’s COVID‑19 vaccination efforts can be found online.

However, seniors are not pleased with these changes. It’s frustrating for those still trying to get the shot.

Kathy Korbya gets it. She understands why Publix is prioritizing teachers. “I understand why all those people are also eligible. Because teachers especially I, I’m a big proponent of the teachers,” Korbya said.

Since Publix participates in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, at the direction of President Biden, it must prioritize teachers, school staff, bus drivers and licensed child care workers.

“But what about our 87 and 85-year-olds that never were able to get in on the first chance? So that’s the part that concerns me, said Korbya.

But, it does not say not why teachers and school staff are being prioritized over the senior population. Korbya is trying to help her 86-year-old neighbor Claire get the vaccine through Publix.

“I have been getting, setting my alarm set up at quarter to seven, the last four days well, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and now again Monday to get on the Publix site. And to no avail,” she said.

Publix says if there are available appointment slots left over after teachers, those will be made available to other qualified people including seniors.

“I tell her, ‘you know that I tried Claire, but I just wasn’t successful.’ It’s just Oh, thank you. Thank you. Thank you, but, and she said her kids have tried from New York as well, but they haven’t been successful either,” said Korbya.

Her solution is to just have more vaccines.

“Most of the people want the vaccine and there just … isn’t enough,” she said.

Publix says its new priority system goes into effect for the next available slot on Wednesday. When a spokesperson was asked if the company spoke with Governor DeSantis prior to making the change, she did not give a direct answer.

Publix also added these statements:

Will there be a noticeable change on the Publix website?: Customers will be asked to self-attest that they meet the prioritization requirement.

Is Publix still getting vaccine from the state?:  Last we heard, the grocer was getting 70,000 shots a week. We continue to receive vaccines from the state and federal government. Doses may vary week-to-week.


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