- The Florida Department of Health, through a statement, said Wednesday that it did not place an order with the federal government for vaccine doses for kids five and under in part because it doesn’t advise all children get vaccinated. The deadline for placing a pre-order was Tuesday and 49 other states met the cutoff date.
Florida’s Department of Health is led by state Surgeon General Joe Ladapo, an outspoken skeptic of the Covid-19 vaccine. Ladapo, an appointee of Gov. Ron DeSantis, told reporters Tuesday after a news conference that he opposes the use of the vaccine on young kids. He has publicly questioned the effectiveness — and safety — of vaccines even though there’s general consensus within the medical community that it protects against Covid-19 and lessens serious symptoms.
Ladapo has been voicing concerns about the safety of the vaccines since the first doses were made available. Ladapo joined 20 other doctors in signing a petition in July 2021 urging the FDA not to give the Pfizer vaccine its final approval without years of studies and clinical trials.
DeSantis has also fought against any vaccine mandates, going so far as to press lawmakers in Florida’s Republican-controlled Legislature to prohibit businesses from requiring workers to get the shot. DeSantis also fought with local school districts that wanted to implement mask mandates during the summer and fall of 2021, when the Delta variant was sweeping through the state and leading to record-high hospitalizations.