Florida-based grocery chain Publix this week said that it will not offer the COVID-19 vaccine to children under five years of age at this time.
Responding to a customer’s question on Twitter, Publix confirmed that parents would be unable to vaccinate their young children at their stores and suggested that customers speak with their pediatrician’s offices, community health centers, children’s hospitals, and public health clinics for availability.
A spokesperson for Publix confirmed the news to FOX 13 on Wednesday.
Publix, however, currently offers other vaccinations for children and infants under five as well as COVID-19 vaccines for those more than five years of age, according to its website.
The Hill has reached out to Publix for comment.
CNBC reported in the early months of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in 2021 that grocery stores like Publix were a cornerstone of Florida’s Covid-19 vaccination program.
Florida is the only state in the U.S. that has not pre-ordered any COVID-19 vaccines for children five and younger from the federal government.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) says that children are not at risk of getting seriously sick, disputing the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other experts who encourage vaccinating children against COVID-19.
In a statement to The Hill, Florida’s Department of Health said it was actively choosing not to participate in the “convoluted” federal vaccine distribution process, “especially when the federal government has a track record of developing inconsistent and unsustainable COVID-19 policies.”
The White House has blasted DeSantis’s decision after he indicated that Florida will not order vaccines for children under five.
“The state of Florida intentionally missed multiple deadlines to order vaccines to protect its youngest kids,” White House coronavirus response coordinator Ashish Jha told reporters Friday.