June 17, 2022 Updated 3:45 P.M. ET
TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – The DeSantis Administration said news articles claiming Florida “reversed course” with regards to the COVID vaccine for children under 5 are “false.”
Some media outlets, including McClatchy DC, Miami Herald, and WPTV, reported that Florida reversed course and will now allow healthcare providers to order COVID vaccines for children between six months and 5 years old.
However, DeSantis administration officials said Florida never banned healthcare providers like hospitals and pediatrician offices from ordering those vaccines.
“It is patently false that Florida has ‘reversed course’ or changed its position in any way with regards to the COVID vaccine for children under 5. We have never held the position that the state would prohibit healthcare providers from ordering the vaccine,’” said Governor Deputy Press Secretary Bryan Griffin.
“We have always maintained the position that the State of Florida has chosen not to be involved in the pre-ordering or distribution of the vaccine for children under 5.”
Florida is the only state not to pre-order the COVID vaccine for children six months to 5 years of age. However, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday parents could still visit hospitals and doctors offices for their kids to receive the vaccine.
“Doctors can get it, hospitals can get it, but there’s not going to be any state programs, that are going to be trying to, you know, get COVID jabs to infants and toddlers and newborns,” DeSantis said.
Florida does not recommend the vaccine be administered to healthy children.
“Unfortunately, many media outlets have assumed that government is the only means by which something happens in today’s society, and have convoluted a lack of state action or support with a ban or prohibition,” Griffin said.
McClatchy’s “false” story claiming Florida changed its mind on its vaccine policy cites White House officials.
“If indeed this notion of a ‘reversal’ came from the White House, then they are once again pushing their own misinformation,” Griffin said.
The FDA authorized the vaccines for emergency use for children 6 months to five years of age. Jeremy Redfern, press secretary for the Florida Department of Health, said the department “chose not to participate” in the vaccination program because the state health department 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.
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