The Perfect Enemy | Florida is only state that hasn’t ordered Covid vaccines for kids under 5
July 1, 2022

Florida is only state that hasn’t ordered Covid vaccines for kids under 5

Florida is only state that hasn’t ordered Covid vaccines for kids under 5  NBC NewsView Full Coverage on Google News

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WASHINGTON — Florida parents with kids under 5 years old may find themselves waiting longer than the rest of the country to get their youngest children vaccinated against Covid since state officials have yet to order any doses for that age group.

Florida is the only state that hasn’t submitted a request with the federal government for doses of the Covid vaccine specifically tailored for children ages six months to five years in anticipation of U.S. regulators giving clearance for that age bracket as early as this weekend, said a person familiar with the matter.

The Florida Department of Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Food and Drug Administration advisers voted Wednesday to recommend approval of Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines for young children, and FDA officials are expected to authorize the vaccines in the coming days. Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are expected to vote on whether to endorse the shots this weekend.

June 15, 202202:09

Children under age five are the only group not yet able to get vaccinated against Covid due to months of delays as vaccine makers conducted additional studies.

As soon as the federal agencies have signed off, government officials said they are prepared to immediately start shipping doses and anticipate the first shots going into arms Tuesday.

The federal government started taking orders from states two weeks ago for 10 million doses. But since Florida hasn’t placed an order, it’s unclear when parents there will be able to get their young children vaccinated.

The Miami Herald first reported Florida’s outlier status. Jeremy Redfern, press secretary for the Florida Department of Health, told the newspaper the department wasn’t requesting any doses because it is not following federal public health recommendations.

“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,” Redfern said.

As of last week, 52 of 62 jurisdictions had placed orders for the first batch of 5 million doses, and officials were still talking to the other jurisdictions to remind them to get in their orders, said a senior administration official on a call with reporters last week.

Florida’s decision not to seek vaccines from the federal government is likely to increase scrutiny of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ response to the pandemic. DeSantis, a Republican and potential 2024 presidential candidate, has been an outspoken opponent of vaccine and mask mandates during the pandemic.