June 20, 2022 Updated 1:16 P.M. ET
TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – Florida Department of Agriculture Commissioner and Democrat candidate for Governor Nikki Fried held a press conference Monday claiming the DeSantis administration is “blocking” a parent’s access to COVID vaccines for young children, even though parents can receive the vaccines across the state at healthcare facilities and pharmacies.
“He’s actively blocking access to these choices,” Fried said. “So while I still hope that the governor will do the right thing, and make these vaccines available to Florida’s local health departments, unfortunately, I’m not optimistic.”
But the COVID vaccine for children under 5 years old will be available at doctors offices, hospitals, healthcare facilities, and places like CVS, Kroger, and Publix.
Florida did not pre-order the COVID vaccines for children under 5 years of age and will not distribute them through state resources. That’s because the state does not recommend the vaccine be administered to healthy children.
“And quite frankly, if someone wants to make a different decision, I would just caution people to look at the actual data in the clinical trial,” DeSantis said. “It is the weakest possible data that you could possibly see. Very small number of people. What the recommendation is from them doesn’t even track the outcomes.”
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said Monday the state’s decision not to support the vaccine goes against every “modern health expert” across the country.
But Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, who attended Harvard Medical School, said after reviewing the data that the risks of the COVID vaccine may outweigh the benefits for healthy children.
“In case anyone is confused, the Florida Department of Agriculture does not have any kind of authority regarding covid shots for children and does not represent the official position of the State of Florida on this matter, which is articulated by @flsurgeongen (an actual doctor),” Governor DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw said.
Gov. Ron DeSantis called out the White House Monday for “lying” about the state’s response to vaccines for kids. The White House claimed Florida originally prohibited healthcare facilities from receiving the COVID vaccine, but then reversed course.
The DeSantis administration said this is completely false. DeSantis said healthcare facilities were always allowed to order the vaccines.
“Not surprised the White House would lie,” he said Monday. “Definitely not surprised that legacy media would amplify the lie because that’s what they do.”
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