Florida will be
the first state in the US to formally recommend against COVID-19 vaccinations
for young, healthy children, the New York Post reported quoting state surgeon
general Dr Joseph Ladapo. The move will defy guidelines laid down by the
federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) which recommends vaccination for all
children aged five to seven years.

 “The Florida Department of Health will be the
first state to officially recommend against the COVID-19 vaccines for our
healthy children,” Ladapo said. The move was announced by him in the presence
of Governor Ron DeSantis

The exact timeline
and nature of the recommendation is yet to be revealed. The CDC maintains
coronavirus vaccines do help protect against hospitalisation or death from

Public health
experts say that while children are not at particular risk of developing severe
disease on account of COVID-19, vaccinations help bring down the risk further.
Additionally, vaccination also helps prevent the spread of the virus.

While Florida’s recommendation
is for healthy children, for children with pre-existing conditions, such as
obesity, diabetes or asthma, the risk of severe disease is higher.

Reacting to Florida’s
decision, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said it was “deeply disturbing
that there are politicians peddling conspiracy theories out there and casting
doubts on vaccinations when it is our best tool against the virus.”

The US Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Pfizer vaccine for children as young
as five. Only last week, a study found that while the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is less effective in preventing infection, it does help cut down on hospitalizations. 

The recommendation for Florida came after a 90-minute-long session on vaccinations. The session was organised by Florida Governor Robert DeSantis. The session did not lay down how it would decide whether a child is healthy or not. 

According to CNN, vaccinated grade-school goers have a 50% lower chance of getting COVID-19 infection. In the US, around 4.5 billion people have had COVID since the beginning of the year.