Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been taking heat in recent days from the White House, the media, and even his fellow Cabinet member, Democratic state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, for the decision to not pre-order COVID-19 vaccines.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden, who has overseen the majority of America’s virus deaths, heralded the vaccines for children under 5 as “(f)inally, some peace of mind” for parents, and a “monumental step forward,” according to The New York Times.
He also swiped at DeSantis, “Elected officials shouldn’t get in the way and make it more difficult for parents who want their children to be vaccinated and want to protect them and those around them. This is no time for politics. It’s about parents being able to do everything they can to keep their children safe,” said Biden, who once restricted the flow of potentially life-saving monoclonal antibody treatments to Florida and other red states.
But it appears that most of America seem to agree with the Republican governor, who not only did not preorder the vaccine but has resisted recommending it for his youngest constituents.
In the news: U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Appeal For Florida Man In The Kidnapping, Murder Of Jeanne Bickner
For example, the Times noted in its report that the Biden administration had already made at least 10 million doses of the toddler vaccines available to the states.
But only 3.8 million doses – or at best 38 percent – of the available stock of the combined Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were actually pre-ordered by last week’s deadline. In other words, almost two-thirds of the much-ballyhooed vaccines remain in a federal depository.
More importantly, though, most parents are not interested in “shots for tots.”
On Tuesday, as it detailed the rollout of the vaccines, the Kaiser Family Foundation, one of the most respected healthcare policy think tanks in the nation, noted that, according to its own most recent survey, just 18 percent of parents with kids younger than 5 were willing to “get their child vaccinated against COVID-19 right away once a vaccine is authorized.”
Kaiser added that just “38% say they will wait and see, and almost 4 in 10 say they won’t get their younger child vaccinated at all or only will if required.”
Admittedly, that survey was taken in April. But those same parents responded after absorbing information about the effects of COVID, and its various more transmissible and more lethal variants, for the past two years.
Meanwhile, Kaiser noted, that just 29.5 percent of children between 5 and 11 have been vaccinated. That’s roughly one-third the total of their teenage peers.
Finally, as liberals berated DeSantis for not preordering vaccines, the Biden administration admitted its approach is actually the same as that of Florida’s governor.
In the news: Elon Musk’s SpaceX Says “You’re Fired” To Wokesters Trying To Tell Him How To Run His Company
The pro-Biden New York Times noted that the president “expects to lean heavily on pediatricians and primary care offices to administer them, as is typical in pediatric vaccination campaigns. Pharmacies and community health centers, among other providers, will also vaccinate the youngest children.”
The DeSantis administration has acknowledged, contrary to Biden’s comments, it will stand clear of getting between families and their doctors, if those physicians want to obtain vaccines for their young patients.
Even Fried, who wants to oust DeSantis from the governor’s mansion, admitted this in a press conference on Tuesday.
She opened by denouncing DeSantis for not ordering shots and for creating “chaos and confusion,” by leading parents to believe no doses would be available, and interfering with parents’ rights.
The ag commissioner then suggested she had some big reveal that the DeSantis administration “won’t share.”
Yet Fried then admitted that “distribution … will still be available across the entire state.” She also noted providers could get them “directly from the federal government,” thus cutting out the state as the middle man.
Fried also undercut her diatribe by admitting that parents could now get shots from their own doctors, health care centers sanctioned by the federal government, and nine major retailers, including Publix, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, and Winn-Dixie.
All of which the Florida Department of Health announced on Friday, after the Biden administration approved the shots.