Florida decision leads to delays in COVID vaccine for young children

Published: June 22, 2022 6:20 AM EDT
Child receiving COVID-19 vaccine. Credit: CBS

COVID-19 vaccinations for the youngest Americans are expected to be available later this week. However, that’s not the case in Florida, which will see delays because Gov. Ron DeSantis decided that the state would not order vaccines for children six months to five years old.

The state’s decision means Florida doctors and hospitals will be responsible for ordering their own vaccines, which may lead to delays.

This concerns the Florida Democratic Party. They plan to meet with medical professionals, parents, and community members to “hold Ron DeSantis accountable for refusing to pre-order vaccines for children and forcing Florida children, infants, and parents to be the latest victim of his extreme MAGA agenda in pursuit of power.”

This week, DeSantis doubled down on his decision to not pre-order the vaccines, nor to set up a state program to distribute them citing decisions made by some foreign governments.

“We’re following the data. You look at these European countries, they are, a lot of them don’t even allow Moderna for under age 30, or they recommend against it,” said DeSantis at a press conference on Monday. “We still have not ordered it, we’re not going to order it.”

Hospitals and pediatrician offices across the state have already begun placing their own orders for the vaccines, which received emergency use authorization on Friday.

Nicklaus Children’s hospital released a statement that reads in part:

“Nicklaus Children’s hospital is working to secure supplies of the Covid-19 vaccine for children under age five. Once we have the vaccine in hand, we will update our vaccine web page and post the information on social media.”

According to CBS4 news partners The Miami Herald, vaccine doses are expected to be rolled out with no delay this week in states where they were preordered. However, due to Florida missing the preorder deadline, it could take about two weeks for supplies to come in based on orders completed Friday.

“Florida’s children will have to wait the longest to get the COVID vaccine,” said Dr. Lisa Gwynn, President of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.