Publix confirmed that they will not offer the newly approved Moderna and Pfizer shots to children younger than 5.
The decision comes after federal health officials approved COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months old.
Publix had an integral role in the initial distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida. The supermarket chain has more than 1,200 stores in seven Southern states, but the bulk —more than 800 — belong to the Sunshine State.
This week, a spokesperson for the Florida-based supermarket chain told the Tampa Bay Times, "will not offer the vaccine approved for children ages 4 and under 'at this time." As of today, no further explanation has been given.
The attitude toward the new vaccines from Publix tracks with the one in Tallahassee. Florida is the only state that didn't pre-order the recently approved COVID-19 vaccine for children before the FDA and CDC approved it for emergency use and Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo recommended against vaccinating otherwise healthy children.
According to its website, Publix is still accepting COVID-19 vaccine appointments for children ages 5 and older. The company also offers other child vaccinations, including the flu shot for children as young as 6 months old.
Other major pharmacies began their vaccination distribution for younger kids. CVS is administering COVID-19 vaccines for those aged 18 months and above. Walgreens, on the other hand, is offering the Pfizer and Moderna shots to children aged 3 years and older, according to their website.