The grocery store chain Publix has announced that it will not be distributing COVID-19 vaccines to children under the age of five at any of its pharmacies, despite the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) demanding that children get the vaccine.
The Daily Caller reports that the chain, which is based in Florida, declined to explain the reasoning behind its decision for the time being. Publix is one of the largest grocery store chains in the United States, and its decision against distributing the vaccine stands in contrast to its competitors such as Walmart, who have already bent to the will of the CDC on vaccine distribution.
The majority of Publix stores are located in Florida, where state health officials have publicly disagreed with the CDC’s assessments. State Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo has not recommended that children under the age of five take the vaccine, and Governor Ron DeSantis has declared that the state is “affirmatively against” forced vaccinations for young children.
Publix had played a key role in the initial vaccine distribution during the coronavirus pandemic, working closely with the DeSantis Administration to get millions of senior citizens vaccinated once the vaccine became available. By April of 2021, Publix was the single largest supplier of vaccines in the state, providing over one-fourth of the state’s total number of vaccine doses.
Outside of Florida, Publix has other locations in the southeastern United States, including Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.