ORLANDO, Fla. – With concerns rising about a possible winter surge of cases, a panel of experts has unanimously voted to add the COVID-19 shot to the list of recommended vaccines for children.
The panel voted Thursday on the recommendation, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will still have to decide whether to adopt the panel’s advice.
This will put the shots on the annually updated, formal lists of what vaccinations doctors should routinely offer to their patients, alongside shots for polio, measles and hepatitis.
State and local officials will still have the final say about whether to make those vaccinations a requirement for school attendance.
The CDC doesn’t have the authority to set school immunization requirements, and the vote doesn’t mandate the vaccine for schoolchildren.
Officials don’t always adopt every recommendation. Flu and HPV shots, for example, aren’t required by many schools.
Florida’s Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo came out against such a requirement before the panel even voted, saying “nothing changes in FL” regardless of the vote.
Gov. Ron DeSantis echoed Ladapo on Thursday.
“As long as I am Governor, in Florida there will not be a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for children in our schools,” he said in a tweet.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the CDC and the state from Oct. 7 - Oct. 20:
Florida has seen 7,149,300 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.
The Florida Department of Health reported a cumulative death toll in Florida of 82,176. There were 515 fatalities recorded over the past two weeks, which we get by subtracting the number of deaths reported by DOH two weeks ago (81,661) from the current cumulative death toll.
The state stopped reporting the number of non-residents who died in Florida when the new weekly reporting method began.
The state Agency for Health Care Administration deleted its current COVID-19 hospitalization database and the state is no longer reporting how many patients have been hospitalized with the virus. However, Florida is still required to report that information to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the CDC continues to release that information online. The most recent hospital numbers show 1,131 adult and 33 pediatric patients in Florida.
The Florida Department of Health reported the percentage of positive results from coronavirus tests was 7.1% for the week of Sept. 30 but did not provide how many people were tested during the past two weeks. Health officials say the rate should remain between 5% and 10% to prove a community has a hold of the virus and is curbing infections.
Below is the Central Florida region breakdown of new cases and new vaccination numbers between Oct. 7 - Oct. 20.
|County||Total cases as of Oct. 21||New cases since Oct. 7||Total people vaccinated||Percent of 6 mo+ population vaccinated|
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