MIAMI ( Associated Press) — Florida is the only state that hasn’t preordered COVID-19 vaccines for toddlers in anticipation of their final approval by the federal government, and Gov. will not provide the facility, although he said that they would be available to those who wanted them.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre, who confirmed Florida’s outlier on Thursday, said not preordering the vaccines could mean delaying their availability at children’s hospitals and other facilities that have to rely on state delivery of shots. are dependent.
Florida officials said the jabs will be available at pharmacies and community health centers, which can preorder them directly from the federal government, and that children’s hospitals and other clinics can order them from the federal government through a state portal and order them quickly. will be able to obtain. ,
“Doctors can get it. Hospitals can get it. But there’s not going to be any state program that’s trying to get COVID jabs for babies and toddlers and newborns,” DeSantis told a news conference. Said. “That’s not where we’re supposed to use our resources.”
Final federal approval for Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for ages 6 months to 5 years could come as early as next week. Vaccine advisors from the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday gave a thumbs up to both drug companies’ vaccines for children under the age of 5, or about 18 million youth, arguing that the benefits of the shots outweigh any risks.
The Florida Department of Health does not recommend COVID vaccines for healthy children under the age of 17, but says children with underlying health conditions should be considered candidates for them. The advice contradicts the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has so far recommended vaccines for everyone age 5 and older, saying the shots provide strong protection against hospitalization and death. We do.
In Florida, pharmacies and many supermarket chains, as well as some community health centers, can pre-order vaccines directly from the federal government. Other places, such as hospitals, have benefited from preordering of shots from earlier in-state. However, they can order them directly from the federal government through the Florida government’s web portal and receive doses within days or a week, said Health Department spokesman Jeremy Redfern.
Redfern said preordering the shots would mean the Florida Department of Health would stock them, send them to county-level health departments and then to hospitals. He said hospitals using the portal would receive shots directly from the federal government.
“Times don’t necessarily change”, in an important way, Redfern said. “It just cuts out the man in the middle.”
Jean-Pierre said at a news conference in Washington that parents would be able to access children’s vaccines through federal distribution channels at pharmacies and community health centers, “but they have limited options.”
“We encouraged Florida to order vaccines on several occasions,” Jean-Pierre said. By not doing so, the state would not have “immediate, ready access to some,” she said.