TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Following the announcement of a COVID-19 vaccine aimed at children five years of age or younger last month, the Florida Department of Health has stated that it has not preordered any of the pediatric vaccine for Florida doctors and hospitals.
“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 department said.
The department pointed to studies that show children below 17 years of age are “at little to no risk of severe illness complications from COVID-19,” saying that vaccine efficacy declined quickly among the demographic.
In addition, the department added that it had concerns over risks of myocarditis and pericarditis in children receiving the vaccine, especially among adolescent boys.
However, current state health guidance for pediatric COVID-19 vaccines says that children with underlying conditions are the best candidates for the vaccine, though parents should discuss risks and benefits with the child’s health care practitioner.
Florida Department of Health Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern told News 6 that there are currently no plans to distribute the vaccine for children five years of age or younger due to the departments vaccine guidelines for children.
“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,” Redfern stated.
Speaking in Miami Thursday, Gov. DeSantis attributed parents’ fear of COVID for younger children to “media hysteria” and “misinformation.” He said parents can still get access to the vaccine for young children in Florida, but it would not be through a state program.
“The state’s recommendation holds it’s a recommendation against doing it,” DeSantis said. That’s different than saying you can’t you are free to choose. That’s not an issue.”