(As originally published with soundbites, Tue, March 8th 2022, 5:31 PM EST)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBS12) — The Florida Department of Health has published new guidance on COVID-19 vaccines for children and teenagers, ages 5 to 17.
The guidance was released on Tuesday.
It says, “Based on currently available data, healthy children aged 5 to 17 may not benefit from receiving the currently available Covid-19 vaccine. The Department recommends that children with underlying conditions are the best candidates for the Covid-19 vaccine.”
Then it mentions, “There are certain risks to consider that may outweigh benefits among healthy children with no underlying conditions.”
Those listed risks are:
- limited risk of severe illness due to Covid-19,
- high prevalence of existing immunity among children and no data among children with existing immunity,
- higher than anticipated serious adverse effects in clinical trials,
- reduced vaccine efficacy among children 5-17, and
- risk of myocarditis due to the Covid-19 vaccine.
The guidance also says the state “recognizes that parents should always be empowered to make the best health decisions for their children. These decisions should be made on an individual basis.”
State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo alluded to the new guidance Monday at Gov. Ron DeSantis’ roundtable called “The Curtain Close on Covid Theater” that featured a group of doctors who criticized coronavirus lockdowns and mandate policies.
It’s Florida’s latest break from President Biden’s coronavirus policy. Federal health officials have approved and encouraged the use of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in children as young as 5.
Also, the Food and Drug Administration cleared the shots based on a study showing the child-size doses were 91 percent effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19.
And, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said the vaccines give children 5 and older strong protection against hospitalization and death.