MIAMI – The Florida Department of Health responded on Wednesday to a subcommittee to select House Select to explain its position on ordering coronavirus vaccines for children under five.
A congressional subcommittee requested a briefing on June 17 in a letter sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis to explain the state’s decision not to order the vaccine or allow pre-orders.
Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo, Florida’s chief surgeon, reaffirmed the state’s position not to allow private doctors or health care providers to pre-order vaccines for children under five. He confirmed that this was a decision taken jointly by the department and Governor Ron DeSantis. The briefing said Dr. Ladapo called the pre-order system “inefficient”, concluding that there was “very little demand” for it.
“Dr. Ladapo confirms that Florida has not allowed pediatricians and other health care providers to order vaccines for young children through Florida SHOTS, the state’s vaccine ordering system, until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes emergency use on June 17, 2022. He explained that the ability of providers to order vaccines has always “depended on some form of authorization” by the FDA, suggesting that press releases that Florida overturned its decision and allowed providers to order vaccines only after a public protest are incorrect.
“Although he acknowledged that the Biden administration was able to deliver vaccines “very quickly” to health care providers across the state, Dr. Ladapo said Florida’s decision to block providers from placing orders by June 17 could be caused a short ‘delay’, which affected the timely administration of vaccines.“
As previously reported, the state will not order or distribute vaccines to children under five.
Ladapo confirmed in a statement that approximately “3% of the more than 1.1 million children under the age of five living in Florida receive their primary care in county health departments.” This leaves 33,000 young children in Florida without access to the vaccine at their main point of care.
Ladapo said at the briefing that Florida “does not believe it should be offered at all and we told the Florida people.” He also added that the state has done “some research” on how to connect parents to facilities that offer the vaccine.
Here is the text of the briefing held before the selected subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis with the General Surgeon from Florida Dr. Joseph Ladapo and other representatives of the Florida Department of Health in its entirety:
Washington, DC (June 29, 2022) – Today, Representative James E. Clayburn, Chairman of the Selected Subcommittee on Coronavirus Crisis, issued a statement following a staff briefing held yesterday with Florida General Surgeon Dr. Joseph Ladapo and other representatives of Florida Department of Health. President Claiborne requested a staff briefing in a June 17 letter to Governor DeSantis after it was revealed that Florida was the only state in the country that had failed to pre-order coronavirus vaccines for children under five that had been previously authorized. this month.
“The steps Governor DeSantis has taken to prevent access to life-saving coronavirus vaccines for young children in Florida are making it difficult for parents across the state to vaccinate their children, and its promotion of vaccine misinformation makes it harder for parents to make fully informed decisions. about how best to protect children’s health. Coronavirus vaccines have been shown to be extremely safe and highly effective in reducing the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death. Now that they are allowed for young children, all parents must receive accurate information about the benefits of vaccines and must have the freedom to vaccinate their children without unnecessary barriers set by politicians such as Governor DeSantis. I call on the Governor to abandon this dangerous, unscientific approach and I strongly encourage all parents of young children to provide them with life-saving protection against coronavirus vaccines as soon as possible. ”
Dr. Ladapo provided the following information during the briefing:
Florida’s deliberate failure to pre-order coronavirus vaccines for young children – a decision by Governor DeSantis – may have delayed vaccinations.
• Dr. Ladapo confirmed that the Florida Department of Health has decided not to pre-order vaccines for young children until the June 14, 2022 deadline provided by the federal government, explaining that the state has found that the pre-order system is “inefficient” and “unnecessary” after concluding that there is “very little demand”.
• Asked whether Governor DeSantis had been informed of the state’s decision not to pre-order vaccines, Dr Ladapo said they had made the decision “together”.
• Dr. Ladapo confirmed that Florida did not allow pediatricians and other health care providers to order vaccines for young children through Florida SHOTS, the state’s vaccine ordering system, until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Authorization on June 17, 2022. He explained that the ability of providers to order vaccines has always “depended on some form of authorization” from the FDA, suggesting that press reports that Florida had reversed its decision and allowed providers to order vaccines only after a public protest are incorrect.
• While acknowledging that the Biden administration was able to deliver vaccines “very quickly” to health care providers across the state, Dr. Ladapo said Florida’s decision to block providers from placing orders by June 17 could caused a short ‘delay’, which affected the rapid administration of the vaccines.
Governor DeSantis and the state of Florida continue to promote disinformation against vaccines.
• Dr Ladapo doubled with Governor DeSantis’ previous public statements that Florida was “strongly against” vaccines for young children, saying: “We do not recommend” coronavirus vaccines for children under 18 in Florida. Contrary to consensus scientific views confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FDA, and leading public health scientists and experts across the country, Dr. Ladapo said there was “little data” on whether children and adolescents he claims to be at “low risk” of using the coronavirus vaccine against COVID-19.
• Asked if he thought the risks to children of coronavirus were lower than the risks to children of coronavirus vaccines, Dr Ladapo said it was a “perverse question”. He said he believed the right question was to compare the risk of vaccination with the risk of non-vaccination, which means that the risks of infection should not be considered.
More than 30,000 children in Florida under the age of five may still not have access to coronavirus vaccines.
• Dr Ladapo reaffirmed that, given the state’s view that children should not be vaccinated against coronavirus, Florida County Health Departments “cannot” order or administer coronavirus vaccines to young children, a decision he said has discussed with Governor DeSantis. Dr. Ladapo also confirmed that approximately 3% of more than 1.1 million children under the age of five living in Florida receive primary care in county health departments, leaving approximately 33,000 young children in Florida without access to vaccines against coronavirus in their usual place of care.
• Asked whether the Florida Department of Health has analyzed whether parents whose children receive primary care in county health departments may have difficulty vaccinating their children against coronavirus elsewhere, Dr. Ladapo said: “We do not believe we should He added, however, that the state has done “some research” on how to link parents who are interested in vaccinating their children with federally qualified health centers and other providers who offer vaccinations.
• Dr. Ladapo was unable to provide an immediate answer as to whether coronavirus vaccines are currently available for young children in all counties in the state or what percentage of the population can easily access the vaccines. He noted that he did not believe that the Florida Department of Health “should be on the back” of health care providers to provide access to “a product we do not agree with.”