Moderna and Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccines for infants through preschoolers have moved a step closer to authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA’s committee of independent vaccine experts unanimously voted to recommend the shots for use, and the guidance will now head to the FDA who will likely accept the committee’s recommendation and move to authorize the shots immediately.
The CDC will have to sign off on the shot before pharmacies and doctors’ offices can start administrating the vaccine to the under 5 demographic, but states are able to pre-order the vaccine now to get a head start on distribution, despite the vaccine not being fully approved by the FDA.
But not every state is welcoming the Covid-19 vaccine with open arms. Florida is the only state in America that missed Tuesday’s deadline to pre-order vaccines for kids 5 and under, according to a source familiar with the situation.
According to TheHill.com, the White House initially made 10 million vaccines for young children available for states, tribes, and other jurisdictions to pre-order in anticipation that the shots will get the green light from federal regulators. Florida is the only state out of the 50 United States that will not participate in the pre-order process.
Jeremy Redfern, press secretary for the Florida Department of Health, confirmed the department “chose not to participate” in the vaccination program because the state health department is not following federal public health recommendations.
“The Florida Department of Health has made it clear to the federal government that states do not need to be involved in the convoluted vaccine distribution process, especially when the federal government has a track record of developing inconsistent and unsustainable COVID-19 policies,” Redfern said.
“It is also no surprise we chose not to participate in [the] distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine when the Department does not recommend it for all children,” Redfern said. “Doctors can order vaccines if they are in need, and there are currently no orders in the Department’s ordering system for the COVID-19 vaccine for this age group.”
In March, Florida become the first state in the nation to formally recommend against COVID-19 vaccines for healthy children, a local official said Monday.
Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo announced the move, which would defy guidance issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that all children ages 5 to 7 should be vaccinated.
“The Florida Department of Health is going to be the first state to officially recommend against the COVID-19 vaccines for healthy children,” Ladapo said.