Grocery store chain Publix said it won’t be distributing COVID-19 vaccines for kids under five years old in any of its pharmacies.
The company, one of the biggest grocers in America, won’t be explaining its decision at this time, spokesperson Hannah Herring said Tuesday, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The decision puts the company in opposition to some key competitors, like Walmart, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which recommends the shot for kids under five years old.
Publix was a major player in Florida’s COVID-19 vaccinations. But now the grocery chain says it will not vaccinate children under 5.https://t.co/X2jt1yboYz
— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) June 22, 2022
Publix is based in Florida, and that’s where the vast majority of its stores are. Florida is reportedly the only state in America that isn’t ordering the COVID-19 vaccine for kids under five. State Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo said he does not recommend the shot for young children, and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state is “affirmatively against” vaccinating young children against the virus.
The grocery chain played a key part in Florida’s initial rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, helping DeSantis and his administration quickly vaccinate the millions of seniors across the state. By April 2021, Publix was Florida’s largest vaccine supplier, responsible for distributing more than one-quarter of the state’s doses, according to The Tampa Bay Times. The chain will continue to offer other shots for kids under five years old, such as the influenza vaccine. (RELATED: Pfizer CEO Complains He Has Billions Of Vaccine Doses Sitting Around Because Nobody Wants Them)
In addition to Florida, Publix has locations in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia.