Publix grocery store pharmacies will not be offering COVID-19 vaccines to children younger than 5, according to the company.
Publix has been a major partner in several states in providing vaccines for adults as they became available, and for older children as those shots were authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.
Publix spokesperson Hannah Herring said Tuesday that the chain will not release a statement explaining its decision, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The company’s website indicates that it is still accepting COVID-19 vaccine appointments for children ages 5 and up.
While the company will not administer the COVID-19 vaccine to children younger than 5, it will still offer other vaccinations for children in that age group.
In anticipation of approval of the use of COVID-19 vaccines in young children, state health departments were allowed in recent weeks to preorder the vaccines to be sent to various venues. Forty-nine states met the deadline for the preorder with only Florida not preordering the pediatric vaccines.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week told reporters that his state Department of Health believes “the risks outweigh the benefits, and we recommend against it. ... There’s not going to be any state programs that are going to be trying to get COVID jabs to infants and toddlers and newborns.”
Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo also recommended against giving vaccines to healthy children.
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