By Lydia Nusbaum
June 23, 2022 Updated 9:22 A.M. ET
LAKELAND (FLV) – Publix said it will not offer the COVID-19 vaccine to children under age 5 and under “at this time,” according to a Tampa Bay Times report.
The grocery store chain has provided COVID-19 vaccines for people since the vaccine was first made available. Publix’s website indicates it will still book appointments for children 5 years and older.
A spokesperson for Publix reportedly said they would not release a statement explaining its decision. But the chain’s decision comes on the heels of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ confirmation that Florida would not pre-order COVID vaccines for kids under age 5.
“There’s not going to be any state programs that are going to give covid jabs to infants, toddlers and newborns,” DeSantis said June 16th. “That’s not something that we think is appropriate. So that’s not where we’re going to be utilizing our resources in that regard.”
The FDA granted emergency use of COVID vaccines for kids under age 5. However, the Florida Department of Health recommends healthy children not get the vaccine, contrary to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, who attended Harvard Medical School, said after reviewing the data that the risks of the COVID vaccine may outweigh the benefits for healthy children.
The vaccines would still be available at doctors offices, hospitals, and other pharmacies for parents who want the vaccine for those children.
“That’s different than saying you can’t. You are free to choose. That’s not an issue,” DeSantis said.
Publix’s competitor, Walmart, plans to provide the COVID vaccination to children ages 3 and older.
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