Publix will not provide the COVID-19 vaccine to children under five

A major grocery chain that was among the leaders in the early distribution of COVID-19 vaccines will now refuse to provide the vaccine to preschool children.

According to a report Wednesday in the Tampa Bay Times, the Florida-based Publix will not vaccinate children under the age of five, which were recently approved by federal authorities “at this time.”

Publix spokeswoman Hannah Hering said, according to The Times, Tuesday, that the grocery chain, which typically features in-store pharmacies, will not release a statement explaining its decision.

“The company’s website indicates that it is still accepting COVID-19 vaccine appointments for children 5 years of age and older,” The Times reported.

According to the paper, Publix offers other vaccines, including the flu shot, for babies up to 6 months old.

A dispute has erupted between federal and state officials over giving COVID vaccines to children under the age of five.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved COVID injections for these children last week, although the disease rarely has serious effects in young children. Citing that and other reasons, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladabo recommended against giving vaccinations to healthy children.

Florida has not previously requested doses of the vaccine less than 5 years from the federal government, and is the only state in the union that has not, which could delay its distribution to Medicare providers in Florida.

Publix got its vaccination doses directly from the federal government program, so the state dispute does not affect its theoretical ability to provide them to children under five.

Publix is ​​Florida’s largest private employer and its involvement in the vaccination program in early 2021 played a major role in vaccinating the population in the state burdened with retirees.

At one point, according to The Times, it provided nearly a quarter of Florida’s vaccinations.

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