July 20, 2022 Updated 2:27 P.M. ET
TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – The Florida Department of Health Press Secretary criticized a congressional coronavirus oversight committee for amplifying a Washington Post article that claimed kids’ coronavirus vaccines are hard to find because of Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Governor DeSantis said in June Florida would not pre-order the vaccine or participate in the distribution of the vaccine for children under 5 years of age. However, healthcare facilities were able to order the vaccines as soon as the Emergency use Authorization was issued on June 17, 2022. Those providers began receiving orders as early as June 21, 2022.
The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis said “Florida parents demanding the vaccine for kids can’t get it” and cited the Washington Post article.
The article said because Florida did not pre-order the vaccine, parents who want their child’s doctor to give the shot had long waits ahead.
“They told us that because the state didn’t preorder, that put Florida at the end of the line, so we don’t know when it will come in,” Tampa mom Ashley Comegys said.
But Florida Department of Health Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern pushed back on the mom’s statement saying if it were true, why did doctors in Florida receive the vaccines the same day as everyone else?
“Did you bother challenging anyone’s priors, including your own? Was this a fact-finding mission or just a hit piece?” Redfern asked the Washington Post reporter in an email.
The article also said that Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo “played down the effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines generally and recommended against vaccinating healthy children younger than 18.”
Redfern said there is a data-driven reason for not recommending the vaccine for children younger than 18. He cited other countries like Sweden that have recommended against vaccines at certain ages.
Redfern referred to an article by Dr. Marty Makary and Dr. Tracy Beth Høeg about the vaccine.
“Referring to Pfizer’s vaccine efficacy in healthy young children, one high-level CDC official—whose expertise is in the evaluation of clinical data—joked: ‘You can inject them with it or squirt it in their face, and you’ll get the same benefit,'” the article said.
“Have you bothered to write an article criticizing the federal government for their political decision to authorize this vaccine for young children, or is ‘speaking truth to power’ no longer part of journalism?” Redfern asked the reporter in an email.
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