Florida officials, however, are defying this guidance.
On Monday, March 7, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo announced that the state will become the first in the nation to recommend that healthy kids not get vaccinated for Covid-19. The announcement was made at a roundtable discussion that Governor Ron DeSantis enlisted to discuss "failures" in response to the virus.
Ladapo did not elaborate on the details or reasons behind this decision. However, multiple health experts at the roundtable—all appointed by DeSantis—agreed and downplayed the importance of the vaccine in children. Many said the benefits of vaccination do not outweigh the risks.
"The consensus of over 17,000 physicians and medical scientists are that the risk benefit ratio for children does not justify vaccination," said Dr. Robert Malone, one of the physicians at the rountable.
That's in direct contrast to advice from Dr. Manuel Gordillo, infectious disease specialist at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, who said earlier this year that “the best thing you can do for yourself, your family and your community is to get vaccinated."
Local health officers are aware of the statements Ladapo made at Monday's roundtable. According to Sarasota County Health Department's Beth Kregenow, vaccines will still be offered for children at county vaccination sites and at local pharmacies until further guidance is provided from the health department's headquarters in Tallahassee.