June 24, 2022 – Though the federal government recently authorized the COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5, Publix supermarkets will not offer the vaccine to children in that age group.

“Publix is not administering the COVID vaccine to individuals under 5 years of age at this time. We suggest that customers speak with pediatrician’s offices, community health centers,

children’s hospitals, and public health clinics for availability at this time,” the company said on Twitter.

Publix spokesperson Hannah Herring told theTampa Bay Times the company won’t be giving the vaccine to young children “at this time” and won’t issue a statement explaining why.

Publix is still offering the COVID vaccine for children 5 and up, as well as other child vaccines. The chain has 1,297 stores in seven Southeastern states, with more than 800 of those stores in Florida, according to a company webpage.

Publix is not the only retail business taking this stance on vaccines for children. Walmart, Walgreens, Sam’s Club, and Winn-Dixie are only offering the vaccine for children as young as 3, The Washington Post reported.

The supermarket chain is headquartered in Florida and was a major player in rolling out the COVID vaccine in that state when it became available to the public, the Post reported.

But Gov. Ron DeSantis’s administration opposes the vaccine for young children, saying testing of the vaccine was lacking and that children have little risk of getting seriously ill with COVID. He said state government won’t provide programs to give vaccines to toddlers or infants.

Florida was the only state that declined to pre-order vaccines for young children before the FDA approved the vaccine for that age group on June 18. Doctors in Florida can still order vaccines as needed from the federal government.

Show Sources

Twitter: @PublixHelps, June 21, 2022.

Tampa Bay Times: “Publix won’t give COVID vaccine to children under 5.”

Publix: “Facts and Figures.”

The Washington Post: “Publix won’t offer coronavirus vaccines to children under 5 ‘at this time’”

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