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Florida didn't pre-order any COVID-19 vaccines for younger kids, DOH says

Pfizer Children Vaccines
Posted at 7:30 AM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-16 09:52:12-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Officials from the Florida Department of Health said the state didn't pre-order any COVID-19 vaccines for kids under the age of 5.

The FDA’s vaccine advisors unanimously endorsed Moderna and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines for kids under 5. Now the FDA will look over the committee’s decision and decide whether to issue authorization.

Then, the CDC has the final say before anyone can get a shot. They’re meeting Friday and Saturday.

RELATED: FDA panel says Pfizer, Moderna's COVID-19 shots for tots safe and effective

“It is also no surprise we chose not to participate in distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine when the Department does not recommend it for all children. 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," FDOH said to ABC News.

The White House announced a few days ago that it has made 10 million vaccine doses available to states if the CDC green lights the shots. Officials are getting ready to ship and distribute vaccines across the country.

That means right now doctor's offices and pharmacies nationwide are preparing for vaccine rollout to start as early as Monday.

But the Florida Department of Health told ABC News it didn't pre-order any of those vaccines because it didn't want to be involved in a “convoluted vaccine distribution process.”

In March, the state’s Surgeon General, Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo, announced Florida would become the first state in the country to officially advise against vaccinating healthy children for COVID-19. He was met with criticism from public health experts.

Here’s the full statement the Florida Health gave ABC News.

The Florida Department of Health (Department) 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.

It is also no surprise we chose not to participate in distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine when the Department does not recommend it for all children. 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.

The department also issued the following statement on Thursday.

"Health care providers will still be able to order the vaccine through Florida SHOTS as if it were any other vaccine. Instead of the state being the warehouse for the federal government, the orders will flow directly from the feds to the providers."