Florida’s surgeon general Joseph Ladapo said that the state will become the first to officially recommend that healthy children should not be vaccinated.AP Photo/Chris O’Meara
Joseph Ladapo says Florida will be the first state to recommend against COVID-19 vaccines for healthy kids.
The surgeon general’s announcement on Monday broke with the CDC’s advice on COVID-19 jabs for kids.
The CDC recommends that everyone aged five and up should get inoculated.
Florida’s Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo said on Monday that the state would be the first in the US to recommend that healthy children not receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
“The Florida Department of Health is going to be the first state to formally recommend against the COVID-19 vaccines for healthy children,” Ladapo said.
Ladapo announced the move at an event held by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis titled “The Curtain Close on Covid Theater.” The name of the panel appeared to be a reference to a press event last week where DeSantis snapped at several high-schoolers standing behind him, criticizing them for wearing masks and participating in “COVID theater.”
Ladapo and other panelists at the event suggested that the vaccine gave children limited protection against COVID-19, contradicting advice from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We’re kind of scraping at the bottom of the barrel, particularly with healthy kids in terms of being actually able to quantify with any accuracy or any confidence the potential of benefit,” Ladapo said of vaccines for kids.
The CDC recommends that everyone aged five years and older get the COVID-19 vaccine, noting that vaccinations for children can help protect vulnerable family members and keep children from becoming seriously sick if they contract Covid.
Ladapo did not elaborate on when his recommendation would be formally announced by the Florida state administration and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
“You have this lack of trust in the medical establishment and in the CDC, and the politicization of those institutions, and that’s not going to bode well for us as a society going forward,” DeSantis said after Ladapo’s announcement.
DeSantis added that he saw an “aversion to actual data if it conflicts with the narrative.”
“And then, really, a failure to weigh costs and benefits, whether that’s lockdowns, whether that’s school closures, or whether a healthy seven-year-old kid should get the COVID vaccine,” he continued.
In November, the CDC greenlit Pfizer’s lower-dose vaccine for kids aged five to 11. Since then, 22 million children have received the vaccine, including 1.1 million children from Florida, per CNN.
“There are approximately 28 million children between the ages of 5 and 11 years old in the United States, and there have been nearly two million cases of COVID-19 within this age group during the pandemic,” the CDC reported. “COVID-19 can make children very sick and cause children to be hospitalized. In some situations, the complications from infection can lead to death.”
Ladapo, a DeSantis nominee for surgeon general, dodged multiple questions on the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines at his confirmation hearing in January. He has also broken with the advice of public health experts on several occasions by promoting unproven treatments for COVID-19 like hydroxychloroquine, and asking people to stop relying on COVID-19 testing.
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