DeSantis opposes mandating Covid vaccine for kids after CDC advisors voted to recommend it

by Timothy Frudd

Photo: Alamy

Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., made it clear Thursday that Florida will not support school districts forcing children to receive Covid-19 vaccines in order to attend school.

According to NBC, a committee advising the CDC voted Thursday to recommend the Covid-19 vaccine for the immunization schedule. The CDC is expected to ultimately approve the recommendation, however, its approval would not create a Covid-19 mandate for schools. Rather, it would allow states and school districts to make the decision instead.

In response to growing parental concerns over a vaccine requirement for schools, Republican leaders like DeSantis have pushed back against the CDC. DeSantis explained Thursday that Florida will not limit the freedom of America’s parents and the right of each family to make their own medical decisions.

DeSantis said his office had received a plethora of questions regarding the CDC’s expected recommendation. “I know a lot of parents are concerned about that because if that’s on the immunization schedule, the fear is that schools could potentially mandate your child to get a COVID shot, even if that’s not something that you want to do,” he said.

In defiance of the CDC, DeSantis declared, “I just want to let everyone be clear, as long as I’m around and as long as I’m kicking and screaming, there will be no Covid shot mandates for your kids. That is your decision to make as a parent.”

The governor explained that Covid-19 vaccines cannot be fairly compared to vaccines that have been used for “decades and decades.” He added that most Floridian parents have chosen not to force their children to receive the Covid-19 booster shots due to concerns about the “potential side effects” and lack of observable benefits.

“The surgeon general in Florida does not recommend this for kids under 18,” he said. “Basically, his reason for that is there’s not really been a proven benefit for that.”

DeSantis clarified that parents have the option to allow their children to receive the Covid-19 vaccine and booster shots, however he confirmed that the decision will remain in the hands of individual parents, not the government or school districts.

“The important thing is that school districts are not mandating this choice,” he said.

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo tweeted his support of DeSantis’s policy allowing parents to freely make their own decisions regarding the Covid-19 vaccine.

Earlier this week, Ladapo tweeted, “Regardless of what @CDCgov votes tomorrow on whether COVID-19 vax are added to routine child immunizations – nothing changes in FL. Thanks to @GovRonDeSantis, COVID mandates are NOT allowed in FL, NOT pushed into schools, & I continue to recommend against them for healthy kids.”

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