Reports: Publix not offering COVID-19 shots to children under 5

FILE - A sign on the outside of a Publix grocery store is seen in this file photo.
FILE - A sign on the outside of a Publix grocery store is seen in this file photo.(Source: Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos / CC BY 2.0 via MGN)
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 5:57 PM EDT
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(Gray News/AP) - Publix pharmacies are not currently offering COVID-19 shots to children younger than 5 even though U.S. health authorities recently approved the vaccines for the age group, according to news reports.

The grocery store chain said it will not offer the COVID-19 vaccine approved for children ages 4 and under “at this time,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The newspaper reports a spokesperson said Tuesday that Publix will not release a statement explaining its decision.

A Publix spokesperson reportedly confirmed the decision to Tampa television station WTVT Wednesday afternoon.

Publix is still accepting COVID-19 vaccine appointments for children ages 5 and older, according to its website.

Pfizer and Moderna got the green light for their under-5 COVID vaccines Friday from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Saturday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children in the age group began receiving the vaccines this week.

Pfizer’s vaccine is for children 6 months to 4 years old. The dose is one-tenth of the adult dose, and three shots are needed. The first two are 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 6 months through 5 years old. The FDA also approved a third dose, at least a month after the second shot, for children with immune conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious illness.

Publix is headquartered in Florida, the only state to not preorder the pediatric COVID shots.

Copyright 2022 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.