Ron DeSantis is the only governor out of all 50 states who refused to pre-order vaccines for children under the age of 5. DeSantis and his administration continue to make it clear that their priority is power even if it comes at the expense of young children – and doctors and parents across the state are calling him out.
Parents across the state are calling out Ron DeSantis for putting their children’s lives at risk:
Florida Parent Kami Ratliff: “It’s worrisome, I am someone who wants that does want to get my child vaccinated, but even if you aren’t I think you should be concerned that our governor is trying to make this decision for us anyway.”
Florida Parent Holly Bullard: “I don’t see the benefit of this outside of a bit of political theater for the governor…Me and a lot of other parents I know have just been counting the days until we could get our kiddos the vaccine. We talk about parents’ rights, but I have a right for my pediatrician to have medicine that will help my child. I don’t want to have to go to the back of the local store with my son when we have a doctor he knows and trusts.”
Florida Parent Morgan Shane: “It is disheartening when it affects you directly…We keep getting close and now it’s available and the thought we have to get up and travel to safely go about our summer is frustrating.”
Florida Parent Kim Pullen: “We have been waiting so long for this, and then to have one more roadblock thrown in our way.”
Florida’s medical professionals are also calling Ron DeSantis out for his lies and criticizing his political antics:
Florida International University Infectious Disease Epidemiologist Mary Jo Trepka: “‘People think, ‘Oh, in young children it is a mild illness.’ Well, it is for the majority, but there have been many hospitalizations from COVID-19, including during the omicron surge, for children under the age of 5… Even young children can benefit from the vaccine because it will prevent them from getting a severe illness, against long COVID and a very rare, but extremely serious condition called multi-system inflammatory syndrome.”
Tallahassee Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Louis St. Petery: “I think that the governor and the surgeon general have made it clear that they don’t believe in vaccination and that no children in Florida need to be vaccinated…I think that caused a lot of damage long ago…So hopefully, that’ll mean that a few more kids will actually get vaccinated.”
Florida Pediatrician Randy Thornton: “We have tried to order it. We’ve been anxious. Parents have been contacting us for the past couple of weeks as the news came.”
Florida International University Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Aileen Marty: “There’s no question it benefits that child to be vaccinated against this horrible virus. It starts their protection nice and early and ultimately it’s good for the child and family of that child because one less person in the house that can get sick…You look at kids that have been hospitalized and the vast majority were perfectly healthy kids and yet ended up in hospital and ICU. This age range of six months to four years old, we had 400+ deaths among mostly previously completely healthy children, so these children do need to be protected.”
Florida Pediatrician David Berger: “The governor did say doctor’s offices will be able to get them, but not everybody can get an appointment with their doctor…We don’t know if this just impacts health departments and public clinics. Does this impact pharmacies?”
Florida Pediatrician Randy Cantville: “Parents have been calling our office for the last couple of weeks asking when their six-month-old can get the vaccine. We continue to tell them we are just waiting on the state’s approval.”
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