Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) pushed back this week on a CDC panel that voted to recommend that the coronavirus vaccine be added to the Vaccines for Children program.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices unanimously voted to recommend that children six months and older, as well as adults, get a coronavirus vaccine and boosters when they are eligible for it.
“There’s been a lot of questions to our office about the CDC potentially adding COVID vaccine to the childhood immunization schedule,” DeSantis said. “And I know a lot of parents are concerned about that because if that’s on the immunization schedule, the fear is that schools could potentially mandate your child to get a COVID shot, even if that’s not something that you want to do. So I just want to let everyone be clear, as long as I’m around, and as long as I’m kicking and screaming, there will be no COVID shot mandates for your kids.”
“That is your decision. That is your decision to make as a parent,” he continued. “These are new shots. I get a kick out of it when people kind of compare it to MMR and stuff, things that have been around for decades and decades. So parents, by and large, most parents in Florida have opted against doing these booster shots for … the young kids. The Surgeon General of Florida does not recommend this for young kids, for kids under under 18. And basically, his reason for that [is] there’s not really been a proven benefit for that … but it’s a free state, parents can make the other decision if that’s what they want. The important thing is, is that school districts are not mandating this choice.”
As long as I am Governor, in Florida there will not be a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for children in our schools. pic.twitter.com/oDXAj3c4Oy
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) October 20, 2022
The remarks from DeSantis come after Florida Surgeon General Joseph A. Ladapo, MD, PhD, said in a statement earlier this month that the state now recommends against giving men ages 18 to 39 mRNA coronavirus vaccines, citing a heightened risk of cardiac-related death.
The statement from Ladapo comes at the conclusion of an analysis conducted by the Florida Department of Health that was carried out using a self-controlled case series, a technique used to evaluate vaccine safety, the state said.
“This analysis found that there is an 84% increase in the relative incidence of cardiac-related death among males 18-39 years old within 28 days following mRNA vaccination,” the statement said. “With a high level of global immunity to COVID-19, the benefit of vaccination is likely outweighed by this abnormally high risk of cardiac-related death among men in this age group. Non-mRNA vaccines were not found to have these increased risks.”
“As such, the State Surgeon General recommends against males aged 18 to 39 from receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines,” the statement continued. “Those with preexisting cardiac conditions, such as myocarditis and pericarditis, should take particular caution when making this decision.”