The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the COVID vaccine for children aged six months to 5 years old for COVID-19 vaccines but Florida-based Publix will not be offering it to those youngsters.
The FDA authorized emergency use of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 to include use in children down to 6 months of age.
A Publix spokesperson confirmed the news and will offer a further explanation in the near future.
Currently, those 5 years of age and up can be vaccinated at Publix Pharmacy locations., according to their website.
Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Florida’s state surgeon general, recommended children under 5 not take the vaccine.
Speaking to reporters in Tallahassee earlier this month, Ladapo noted, “We’ve been very consistent in our message. I continue to be amazed at how it strikes people as being a radical message. It’s actually a very simple message.”
“And that message is,” he continued, “we expect to have good data, that the benefits outweigh the risks of any therapies or treatments before we recommend those therapies or treatments to Floridians.”
“That is not going to change. I don’t think that is particularly radical. I think it’s very sensible,” Ladapo continued.
“There have been a lot of unusual things,” he added, such as some “approvals” that “have bypassed scientific review committees,” as well as “a lot of unpredictable and, sort of, scientifically inexplicable decision-making on the part of the FDA, sometimes on the part of the CDC, during the pandemic.”
“From what I have seen, there is just insufficient data to inform benefits and risks in children. I think that’s very unequivocal,” Ladapo said. “When you talk about older people, the risks are much more pronounced.”
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This is the second major health issue recently that Ladapo, who doubles as secretary of the Florida Department of Health, has argued for protecting children.
In April, he came out against transition procedures for children who supposedly suffer from gender dysphoria.
Ladapo issued new guidelines saying puberty blockers, hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery should all be rejected as treatments for Floridians under 18.
He cited reviews on hormonal treatment for that demographic that “show a trend of low-quality evidence, small sample sizes, and medium to high risk of bias.” He also pointed to studies that indicate 80 percent of children grow out of such a condition by the time they reach adulthood.
“Children experiencing gender dysphoria should be supported by family and seek counseling, not pushed into an irreversible decision before they reach 18,” Ladapo said at the time.
Earlier this month, Ladapo asked the state Board of Medicine to set guidelines on such treatments, saying “the scientific evidence supporting these complex medical interventions is extraordinarily weak.”