Jun 16, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Florida is only state that hasn't pre-ordered COVID shots for kids under 5

Photo of Ron DeSantis speaking from a podium while gesturing with his right hand
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) speaks during a press conference in West Palm Beach, Fla., this month. Photo: Joe Raedle via Getty Images

The Florida Department of Health said Wednesday that it has not pre-ordered COVID vaccines for children under 5 because it does not recommend the shot for all children.

Why it matters: Every other state has pre-ordered vaccine supply for the age group as they wait for federal regulators to authorize the shot, per McClatchy.

  • A key FDA advisory committee voted unanimously on Wednesday to recommend the authorization of both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID vaccines for emergency use in kids as young as 6 months old.
  • The FDA recently released its analysis showing that shots from both companies were "safe and effective," moving the littlest Americans one step closer to getting vaccinated.

What they're saying: The Florida Department of Health "has made it clear to the federal government that states do not need to be involved in the convoluted vaccine distribution process, especially when the federal government has a track record of developing inconsistent and unsustainable COVID-19 policies," the agency said in a statement to WECT News.

  • "It is also no surprise we chose not to participate in distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine when the Department does not recommend it for all children," the statement said.
  • "Doctors can order vaccines if they are in need, and there are currently no orders in the Department's ordering system for the COVID-19 vaccine for this age group," it added.

Worth noting: Florida has also recommended that healthy children ages 5-17 not get vaccinated against COVID in direct contradiction to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which recommends the Pfizer vaccine for the age group.

  • The department did not immediately return a request for comment.
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