Florida’s Publix makes controversial decision on FDA’s COVID vaccine approval for young children

On the heels of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for use on children as young as six months old, Florida’s Publix pharmacies have announced they will not be jabbing kids under the age of five.

The Lakeland-based grocery store chain offered no explanation for its controversial decision and, according to the Tampa Bay Times, Publix spokesperson Hannah Herring said on Tuesday that the company would not be releasing a statement, though she did confirm the news to Fox 13 News.

As American Wire reported, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis became a target of White House disinformation after he announced that Florida was not going to be preordering COVID-19 vaccines for infants and young children.

Noting that kids have “practically zero risk” of serious illness from the virus, DeSantis stated that, while healthcare providers will be able to acquire the doses, Florida taxpayers won’t be on the hook for COVID programs aimed at babies.

“Doctors can get it. Hospitals can get it. But there’s not going to be any state programs that are going to be trying to get COVID jabs to infants and toddlers and newborns,” the governor stated at a press conference last week. “That’s not where we’re gonna be utilizing our resources.”

Back in D.C., DeSantis was first blasted for allegedly denying parents of the right “to protect its youngest kids” and then for supposedly reversing course — a claim DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw vehemently denied.

Previously, Florida’s Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, head of the state’s Department of Health, issued a guidance advising against the COVID vaccines for healthy 5- to 17-year-olds, making the Sunshine State the first in the nation to do so.

According to the guidance, and in light of potential associated risks, children in that age group “may not benefit from receiving the currently available COVID-19 vaccine.”

In response to claims that DeSantis caved to outside pressure over the vaccine, Ladapo tweeted, “FL never ‘reversed course.’ We recommended against [the] COVID-19 vax for healthy children in March b/c there was no strong evidence of benefit. This remains the same for healthy kids <5. Providers have always been able to order vaccines. This never changed.”

Publix, notes Breitbart, is the largest private employer in the state of Florida, and it regularly donates to both Republican and Democratic political campaigns.

It’s decision declining to offer the vaccine to children under five, however, could send customers to the competition.

According to Fox 13, Walgreens will be offering the COVID-19 vaccine to children over the age of three.

Citing guidance from the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the company said in a statement, “we look forward to receiving additional details regarding the availability of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 6 months to 5 years and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 6 months to 4 years.”

“In 2020, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) expanded the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act authorizing licensed pharmacists to administer recommended vaccinations to children ages 3 and older,” the statement continued. “In that time, Walgreens has extensive experience administering COVID-19 vaccines to eligible populations and is the largest pediatric vaccine provider among retail pharmacies.”

Meanwhile, CVS has confirmed that, as soon as it receives its supply, it will be ready to start sticking the experimental vaccine into the arms of children over the age of just 18 months.

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