Florida officials are doubling down on their decision not to pre-order Covid vaccines for children under five, ahead of the likely FDA approval of the treatment. According to the federal government, it is the only one of the 50 states that has refused to order anything.
“Parents are really afraid of Covid for their children,” says Governor Ron DeSantis said† “It’s because of media hysteria, it’s because of a lot of misinformation.”
The state has defended its choice, saying the federal procurement process is “complicated” and suppliers in the state can still order the vaccine while patients can get it from partner pharmacies like CVS.
“The Florida Department of Health has made it clear to the federal government that states don’t need to be involved in the complicated vaccine distribution process, especially when the federal government has a track record of developing inconsistent and unsustainable Covid-19 policies. said the spokesman. a representative of the agency.
The White House condemned the decision.
“Being the only state — this is Florida — that doesn’t pre-order, which means that Florida pediatricians don’t have direct access to vaccines, for example, some pharmacies and community health centers in the state get access through federal distribution channels, but those options are limited for We have encouraged Florida on several occasions to order vaccines … and we will continue to do so,” Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday.
So far, states have ordered 3.8 million doses for young children.
Florida’s decision isn’t surprising, given Republican leaders’ general skepticism about common Covid public health measures, such as vaccine and mask mandates.
The governor has taken steps to ban companies and schools from requiring vaccines, and recently threatened the Special Olympics with a $27.7 million fine for its vaccine requirement.
The state is one of the few to advise against the vaccine for healthy children.
“Rates were already low. So we’re kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel, especially with healthy kids, in terms of actually being able to quantify with some accuracy and some confidence, the infinite potential of benefit,” Surgeon General said. Joseph Ladapo in March.
Mr Ladapo urged in 2021 that the release of the Pfizer vaccine itself be delayed until further research can be done.
Florida has the third most Covid cases per capita in the USand the fourth highest death rate.