DeSantis Backs Down, Allows Florida Doctors to Order COVID Vaccines For Young Kids

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is now allowing healthcare providers — including pediatricians and children’s hospitals — to order COVID-19 vaccines from a federal program for children between six months and 5 years old, a reversal from earlier this week when providers were prevented from preordering doses, White House officials told McClatchy. 

The decision will expand access to pediatric coronavirus vaccines for parents across the state, which, under DeSantis’ previous position, would have been limited to seeking vaccines at a select number of community health centers and facilities participating in a federal retail pharmacy program. 

The DeSantis administration is pushing back aggressively against the notion that its position has changed, with a spokesperson from the Florida Department of Health telling McClatchy that it never planned on preventing private healthcare providers from ordering doses.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “We are encouraged that after repeated failures by Governor DeSantis to order COVID-19 vaccines even after every other state had ordered, the State of Florida is now permitting healthcare providers to order COVID-19 vaccines for our youngest children, we believe it is critical to allow parents everywhere to have the choice to get their kids vaccinated and have a conversation with their pediatrician or healthcare provider.

“Even though Governor DeSantis reversed course and is now ordering vaccines, we will pull every lever to get pediatricians across Florida vaccines as quickly as possible, this is an encouraging first step, and we urge the state to order vaccines for its state and local health departments, so that all Florida parents have the opportunity to get their children vaccinated.”

McClatchy DC

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