LAKELAND, Fla. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — One of the largest grocery chains in the southeast is not going to offer COVID-19 vaccines to children under the age of five in its pharmacies, at least for now.

Publix, based in Lakeland, Fla. confirmed the news to FOX affiliate WTVT on Wednesday. It is currently the only chain to not offer the vaccine for children under five, putting it against competitors Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, and others.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that a spokesperson for Publix refused to detail the company’s reasoning for the decision. Despite this, Publix still offers other vaccinations for children 6 months and older, including the flu shot.

Publix receives its vaccines directly from the federal government along with other retail pharmacies across the country, despite the state of Florida where its headquartered not pre-ordering vaccines.


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U.S. regulators last week authorized the first COVID-19 shots for infants and preschoolers, paving the way for vaccinations to begin by this week.

The Food and Drug Administration’s action follows its advisory panel’s unanimous recommendation for the shots from Moderna and Pfizer. The FDA also authorized Moderna’s vaccine for school-aged children and teens.

Pfizer’s vaccine for kids younger than 5 is one-tenth of the adult dose. Three shots are needed: the first two given three weeks apart and the last at least two months later.

Moderna’s is two shots, each a quarter of its adult dose, given about four weeks apart for kids under 6.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.