LAKELAND, Fla. — Florida-based grocery and pharmacy chain Publix announced this week that it will not offer the COVID-19 vaccine to children under age 5, despite recent approval by the FDA.
According to a report from the Tampa Bay Times, spokeswoman Hannah Herring said Tuesday that Publix will not release a statement explaining its decision "at this time."
The Publix website indicates that it is still accepting COVID-19 vaccine appointments for children ages 5 and older.
The chain was selected by Gov. Ron DeSantis to be a key player in the vaccine rollout when it began in 2021.
DeSantis, in consultation with state Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, decided not to pre-order doses of the under-5 version of the vaccine, making Florida the only state not to do so.
Publix's pharmacies are part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, and if it reverses its decision, it can still order vaccine doses as part of the program.