June 30, 2022 Updated 9:14 A.M. ET
TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – The DeSantis Administration slammed a top congressional Democrat for claiming the Florida government “made it harder” for children to receive the COVID vaccine.
Chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, Rep. James Clyburn, sent a statement after a staff briefing Tuesday with Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo.
The meeting took place after Florida decided not to pre-order the COVID vaccine for kids 6 months to under 5 years old. The Florida Health Department recommended against healthy kids receiving the COVID vaccine. Florida parents can still receive those vaccines for kids at locations like pharmacies and healthcare facilities in Florida.
“The steps Governor DeSantis has taken to impede access to lifesaving coronavirus vaccines for Florida’s young children have made it harder for parents across the state to get their children vaccinated,” Clyburn said.
The press release claimed that Dr. Ladapo said the Florida Department of Health’s decision not to pre-order vaccinations for young children may have delayed vaccinations.
Dr. Ladapo criticized the lawmaker and staff for “blatantly false statements” perpetuated by the press release.
“It is unfortunate that staff used this educational meeting as a launching pad for politically charged attacks,” Ladapo said. “At no point did the Florida Department of Health limit vaccine access in Florida.”
The Surgeon General continued to say that pre-order is an “unnecessary relic” that was implemented when supply was low and demand was high among high-risk populations. Ladapo said there are inefficiencies in the pre-ordering process that the Department determined are too “cumbersome” to continue using. Florida determined that providers should decide how many vaccines they need instead of the state assuming the demand.
Ladapo said the Health Department allowed providers to provide 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.
Rep. James Clyburn’s press release also claimed that Florida is promoting “anti-vaccine misinformation.” Clyburn’s release says Coronavirus vaccines have proven to be “extremely safe and highly effective” at reducing the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death.
“And his promotion of anti-vaccine misinformation is making it harder for parents to make fully informed decisions on how best to protect children’s health,” Clyburn said.
But Ladapo said he recommended against pediatric COVID-19 vaccines for children under five because there are “no data” that prove the vaccine is more effective than the placebo in reducing severe illness.
“There is also inadequate data regarding the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Ladapo said.
“It is unfortunate that the information you released is perpetuating confusion among the public. Parents are in the best position to make these decisions for their children,” Ladapo said. “Florida remains committed to making recommendations and decisions based on data and science – not ideology.”
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