Publix will not give COVID Vaccine to children under 5

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storewanderer
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Publix will not give COVID Vaccine to children under 5

Post by storewanderer »

https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/pub ... -younger-5

I'm not sure if we are going to be able to have this thread here before it goes off the rails but let's try.

Obviously some media sources are coming to some... wild conclusions... about this decision. But that is all speculation.

Keep in mind Publix was heavily involved in the vaccine program, to date, has vaccinated thousands of adults/teens.

This will impact all Publix so FL's decision to not distribute vaccines through the state health unit has nothing to do with this (Publix wouldn't have been ordering vaccines from the FL state health unit).

So my questions are this:
1. Is there some difference between a pharmacist who can vaccinate a 5 year old and one who can vaccinate teens/adults?
2. Could it be the labor is so tight in the pharmacies they simply have made a business decision to not offer this service because they cannot staff adequately to offer it?
3. What is different about giving an under 5 year old the COVID vaccine vs. giving one to, say, a 7 year old?

Remember out here in CA/NV, Raleys did not offer any COVID Vaccines at all in its pharmacies. I don't know or care why. What I can say is during the height of this pandemic, the service levels at Raleys for a basic prescription order were far better than any other pharmacy... I also have yet to see a Raleys pharmacy cut its hours beyond standard hours or appear to be severely understaffed. Granted they already have short hours to begin with...
storewanderer
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Re: Publix will not give COVID Vaccine to children under 5

Post by storewanderer »

Okay now I see some additional information:
1. CVS will only give this vaccine to kids 18 months to 4 years of age via Minute Clinic (not through a vaccinating pharmacist/tech). But a 5 year old could get it from the vaccinating pharmacist/tech.
2. Walgreens will only give this vaccine to kids age 3 and up.
Alpha8472
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Re: Publix will not give COVID Vaccine to children under 5

Post by Alpha8472 »

The reason is that the younger the child, the more they fight back. I work in a pharmacy and we had screaming and kicking children who were absolute terrors. There were so many accidental needle sticks and injuries. It is not worth your life to get stabbed by a dirty needle or get poked by a dirty needle that also poked a parent.

Parents these days are the most demanding and obnoxious people we have ever seen. They are sue happy and just waiting for a lawsuit.

One child vaccination on a resistant child could take half an hour with little to no help from a parent. We have had parents threaten us if their child gets poked by accident or if their child fights back and kicks a pharmacist.

You can't file assault charges on a child, but the parents will certainly try to sue you.

Many times an anti-vaxx parent has tried to sue saying that the other parent had no permission to vaccinate their child. It was absolutely terrifying and we received death threats over the phone.

These child COVID vaccinations are absolutely time consuming and nerve wracking. The children scream and kick and it creates a huge scene that frightens away paying customers.

I dreaded the days when we had about 20 children to vaccinate. It was enough to make people quit.

Pharmacists have to think about their own safety, and getting needle sticks 3 times a month by out of control children is really out of hand.

Parents should seriously consider taking their children to family doctors instead of the crowded drugstore where you are herded like cattle with 20 other children and countless other adults.

Pharmacies are understaffed as it is and the corporate chains are pushing Pharmacists to fill prescriptions and juggle children's vaccinations at the same time. It is a dangerous mix and injuries will happen.

In California, you don't even have to be a pharmacist to give a child a vaccine. They passed an emergency order saying Pharmacy Technicians can give the shots. Some technicians barely receive a few hours of training for this. What if a child needs CPR? There is no doctor nearby. Children should be vaccinated at a doctor's office with nurses and doctors nearby. They have drugs in case of allergic reactions.

I am a pharmacy technician and the CPR class I got was mostly online videos. Then I had to practice on a plastic baby doll. It was ridiculous. I have no idea if I can actually do CPR in the heat of the moment. Will it work? Will I injure the child even more? We do not even have a defibrillator in the pharmacy. If you die, you might end up being dead for good.

Pharmacists are not doctors and do not have the expertise to deal with stress induced heart attacks or strokes. They can only call 911 and hope an ambulance gets there in time.

I have seen patients faint and hit the floor after receiving vaccinations. It is very common. Even grown men faint. I have seen elderly people suffer extremely low blood pressure after vaccinations. They were so frail it looked like they were about to lose consciousness.
pseudo3d
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Re: Publix will not give COVID Vaccine to children under 5

Post by pseudo3d »

storewanderer wrote: June 23rd, 2022, 12:13 am
3. What is different about giving an under 5 year old the COVID vaccine vs. giving one to, say, a 7 year old?
The physiology of children changes substantially in their early years, even more so than teenagers. There's real mental and physical changes between an 18-year-old and a 15-year-old (not talking about vaccines in this case--the context should make it obvious), there's even bigger differences in children.
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Re: Publix will not give COVID Vaccine to children under 5

Post by mjhale »

Alpha8472 as well as pseudo3d make good points about the nature of children and their reactions to things that are out of the norm. Is a pharmacist who is fully trained (not just the few hours that Alpha talks about Techs getting) in vaccination administration going to have the skills to deal with a defiant child, a child that fights back despite the parent's attempts to stop them, etc. At least with adults the majority of us know what is coming, are prepared for it and can at least prepare our system for it. Children even of the same age will react differently to a situation out of norm. If the pharmacy standard of operation is that you schedule vaccinations and get them done in a short time - say 5-10 minutes - and then the customer waits out the 15 minutes on their own, that can work with adults. But throw one child where it doesn't go as planned and the whole day is off kilter. At least getting in at the doctor's office you are scheduling an appointment that is either the standard 15-30 minute office visit or a bit shorter maybe. Also you are with a health care provider who presumably knows your child and you know them. That should reduce the stress level for the child and the potential for things to go sideways.

As for Publix, I think they should have explained why they made this decision if it had to do with staffing, staff training on the outset or the general operation of the pharmacy. This is especially true given that CVS and Walgreens will be vaccinating some ages of children under 5. If the comment section of the article storewanderer linked is any suggestion (and remember the article is on Fox), you could come to the conclusion that Publix is already the hero of some number of people in the anti-vax crowd. If I'm a retailer I'm going to do everything I can to be apolitical especially in the current environment. My feeling is that general retailers should sell product not make pronouncements either direct or otherwise about politics. If a business chooses to do so either from a business plan standpoint or inadvertently then people will have to decide how much that stance affects them to shop or not shop at a particular retailer.
storewanderer
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Re: Publix will not give COVID Vaccine to children under 5

Post by storewanderer »

mjhale wrote: June 23rd, 2022, 12:43 pm Alpha8472 as well as pseudo3d make good points about the nature of children and their reactions to things that are out of the norm. Is a pharmacist who is fully trained (not just the few hours that Alpha talks about Techs getting) in vaccination administration going to have the skills to deal with a defiant child, a child that fights back despite the parent's attempts to stop them, etc. At least with adults the majority of us know what is coming, are prepared for it and can at least prepare our system for it. Children even of the same age will react differently to a situation out of norm. If the pharmacy standard of operation is that you schedule vaccinations and get them done in a short time - say 5-10 minutes - and then the customer waits out the 15 minutes on their own, that can work with adults. But throw one child where it doesn't go as planned and the whole day is off kilter. At least getting in at the doctor's office you are scheduling an appointment that is either the standard 15-30 minute office visit or a bit shorter maybe. Also you are with a health care provider who presumably knows your child and you know them. That should reduce the stress level for the child and the potential for things to go sideways.

As for Publix, I think they should have explained why they made this decision if it had to do with staffing, staff training on the outset or the general operation of the pharmacy. This is especially true given that CVS and Walgreens will be vaccinating some ages of children under 5. If the comment section of the article storewanderer linked is any suggestion (and remember the article is on Fox), you could come to the conclusion that Publix is already the hero of some number of people in the anti-vax crowd. If I'm a retailer I'm going to do everything I can to be apolitical especially in the current environment. My feeling is that general retailers should sell product not make pronouncements either direct or otherwise about politics. If a business chooses to do so either from a business plan standpoint or inadvertently then people will have to decide how much that stance affects them to shop or not shop at a particular retailer.
I think the combination that it is Publix and that it is Florida is what got some commenters going. Plus Publix is still giving the vaccines to other age groups. Not sure if the commenters know that or not. But enough of that topic.

But still look at the drug chains they are also not just vaccinating all kids age 5 and under, they also have some pretty significant limitations. Are they a hero too?

I agree Publix should have cited a reason why in order to just maintain control of the situation and so false narratives are not potentially construed. I may be completely wrong here that it is a staffing problem, for example.

I pointed out the one chain not involved in this COVID vaccine thing at all at least in NV/CA- Raleys. Nobody commenting on news articles even notices or cares. But I can tell you their pharmacy staff and customers notice and care because it has made the operation of their pharmacies a lot more smooth than the competition over these months. And I can guarantee the regular Raleys pharmacy customer who had to go to let's just say large chain drugstore with a red logo sign (take your pick) and dealt with that place for a COVID vaccine series, did not likely have such a great experience there that they decided to shift their prescriptions there...
Alpha8472
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Re: Publix will not give COVID Vaccine to children under 5

Post by Alpha8472 »

The problem with COVID vaccinations is that Federal funding for COVID vaccinations for the uninsured ended a short time ago.

Right now there is a ton of vaccination tourism. People from other countries and who have no insurance are going to pharmacies to get free COVID vaccinations. The government forces us to give it away for free. So you end up with tons of people getting vaccinations and the pharmacies are not getting paid for it now.

COVID vaccinations are a money loser now. The pharmacy workers have to waste their time and use up their needles, syringes, bandages, and other supplies for non-paying people.

This has hit many pharmacies in California where you have non-stop uninsured immigrants demanding free COVID vaccinations for themselves and their children. Then you have tourists from other countries who are here to demand free vaccinations. This is hitting tourist areas in California and Florida severely. I can see why Publix wants to limit the number of people eligible for COVID vaccinations.

I am not against vaccinating people, but the government should not force a private business to give things away for free. Pharmacies are not a free clinic for tourists and uninsured immigrants.
storewanderer
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Re: Publix will not give COVID Vaccine to children under 5

Post by storewanderer »

Alpha8472 wrote: June 23rd, 2022, 6:59 pm The problem with COVID vaccinations is that Federal funding for COVID vaccinations for the uninsured ended a short time ago.

Right now there is a ton of vaccination tourism. People from other countries and who have no insurance are going to pharmacies to get free COVID vaccinations. The government forces us to give it away for free. So you end up with tons of people getting vaccinations and the pharmacies are not getting paid for it now.

COVID vaccinations are a money loser now. The pharmacy workers have to waste their time and use up their needles, syringes, bandages, and other supplies for non-paying people.

This has hit many pharmacies in California where you have non-stop uninsured immigrants demanding free COVID vaccinations for themselves and their children. Then you have tourists from other countries who are here to demand free vaccinations. This is hitting tourist areas in California and Florida severely. I can see why Publix wants to limit the number of people eligible for COVID vaccinations.

I am not against vaccinating people, but the government should not force a private business to give things away for free. Pharmacies are not a free clinic for tourists and uninsured immigrants.
This thing where the government is forcing the pharmacies to give the vaccinations away for free- is this the vaccination AND the administering of the vaccine, or only the administering of the vaccine that they are being forced to give away?

I think the previous excuse for this was the stores were getting paid to do so many vaccines that doing a few for free should not hit the bottom line much. But if the % of not paid for suddenly becomes more than a few percent, in a business that is already having huge labor shortages, that falls apart real fast.

Another hitch I am going to add here:
CVS saying you can get the vaccine for the younger kids at a Minute Clinic location. Not so easy- with CVS Minute Clinic in Reno. Weird hours and very limited locations.

Reno area has 4 Minute Clinics:
Plumb- open Tue-Thur 8:30-1:30 and 2:30-7:30 (closed Fri, closed Sat, Closed Sun, Closed Mon)
Robb- open Mon 8:30-1:30 and 2:30-5:30, open Tue 8:30-1:30 and 2:30-5:00, open Wed-Sat 8:30-1:30 and 2:30-7:30 (closed Sun)
Damonte- open Mon-Tue 8:30-1:30 and 2:30-7:30, Wed-Fri 8:30-1:30 and 2:30-5:00, Sat-Sun 9-1:30 and 2-5
Sparks- Open Mon-Fri Mon-Tue 8:30-1:30 and 2:30-7:30 (closed Sat, closed Sun)-this is the busy store (was 24 hours)
Alpha8472
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Re: Publix will not give COVID Vaccine to children under 5

Post by Alpha8472 »

The vaccine itself is delivered to the pharmacy and the pharmacy is not charged for the vaccine. However, syringes, needles, freezers, refrigerators, bandages, gloves, and sharps containers are not provided. The pharmacy must not charge any patient receiving a vaccination.

To prepare a COVID vaccine takes about 15 minutes and to give it takes about 5 minutes. There are several different kinds of vaccinations that all have different mixing instructions. If it is not mixed correctly, it could be extremely dangerous. Most of the time is spent on double checking.

Getting the person registered and having them fill out paperwork takes about 10 minutes. So each person takes about 30 minutes. That is a long time.

Pharmacies are given an administration fee for insured patients for each COVID vaccination. If the person has no insurance you get no administration fee, that means you just worked 30 minutes for free.

It takes time away from other paying customers such as those that have prescriptions to fill or pickup. The problem is that these corporate chains force you to do online appointments. You could have about 20 people per day and then you have walk in people as well.

The problem is that if everything goes well you can barely handle the workload. However, screaming, resistant kids will take even longer. The problem in California is that many people who want vaccinations are uninsured and don't speak any English. So it takes even longer when you have to do translation.

The problem is that doctor's offices can refuse the uninsured immigrants from receiving vaccinations. So that means the uninsured people get dumped on the pharmacies. So doctors get the paying profitable customers and the pharmacies get the uninsured, non-English speaking people.
Last edited by Alpha8472 on June 23rd, 2022, 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
storewanderer
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Re: Publix will not give COVID Vaccine to children under 5

Post by storewanderer »

Alpha8472 wrote: June 23rd, 2022, 11:22 pm The vaccine itself is delivered to the pharmacy and the pharmacy is not charged for the vaccine. However, syringes, needles, freezers, refrigerators, bandages, gloves, and sharps containers are not provided.

To prepare a COVID vaccine takes about 15 minutes and to give it takes about 5 minutes. Getting the person registered and having them fill out paperwork takes about 10 minutes. So each person takes about 30 minutes. That is a long time. If the person has no insurance you get no administration fee, that means you just worked 30 minutes for free.



The problem is that doctor's offices can refuse the uninsured immigrants from receiving vaccinations. So that means the uninsured people get dumped on the pharmacies. So doctors get the paying profitable customers and the pharmacies get the uninsured, non-English speaking people.
It is too bad this has gone how it has. The pharmacies clearly don't have the labor to handle this (and perform their usual function as a pharmacy efficiently). I really thought the pharmacy was a great outlet for this sort of thing but obviously it has been too complex and there are going to have to be some big changes for this to be viable in the future.

I know some stores (older stores) were not set up well physically to run these programs. Throwing up some chairs in the middle of the sales floor and putting some barricades around it is not a good set up. Newer stores with a little enclosed waiting area had a better space to do this in. Of course Safeway with those old clinics they never used built in had excellent space to do this.

Looking more and more like Publix made a business decision, and how many other regional grocers will make the same business decision?
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