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FDOH: State will not ask feds for COVID vaccines for kids under 5

Vaccine
Posted at 5:06 PM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 05:26:09-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday morning that the state will not pre-order COVID-19 vaccines for children under five.

The move comes after the FDA voted on Wednesday to expand the emergency use authorizations for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to include children as young as six months. Gov. DeSantis said the vaccine should not have been approved for emergency use.

"Our Department of Health has been very clear, the risks outweigh the benefits and we recommend against it," the governor said Thursday. "That's not the same as banning it. I mean, people can access it if they want to and parents can do."

With the state not ordering vaccines, it'll be up to hospitals and individual doctors to order vaccines for children under 5.

"Doctors can get it, hospitals can get it, but there's not gonna be any state programs that are gonna be trying to get COVID jabs to infants and toddlers and newborns," DeSantis said. "That's not something that we think is appropriate. And so that's now where we're gonna be utilizing our resources in that regard."

We reached out to the Florida Department of Health about ordering vaccines. A spokesperson said,

The Florida Department of Health (Department) 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.

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 [gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com]. 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.
Florida Department of Health

At the moment, 71.3-percent of kids five and older are vaccinated in Florida, which is .3-percent higher than the national average.

We reached out to several companies such as Walmart, Target, and Publix to see if they will order vaccines and administer them to children. CVS, which runs the Target pharmacies said it will vaccinate children from 18 months old to four years old at their MinuteClinic locations once it's approved by the CDC and CVS receives the supply. Walmart and Publix did not respond to our request.

Lee Health says vaccines will be available for children from six-months-old to five once the vaccine receives emergency authorization approval from the federal government.