Florida to recommend against vaccinating healthy kids against COVID, state surgeon general announces

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo announced Monday that his state would be breaking with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and advising against COVID-19 vaccination for healthy children ages 5 and older, The Miami Herald and Politico report.

The decision was announced during a roundtable with Ladapo, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), and "medical professionals who oppose much of the CDC's recommendations," Politico notes.

Ladapo did not elaborate on the choice, though he did say his recommendation will be the first of its kind in the country, write Politico and the Herald. Per The Associated Press, it's not immediately clear when Florida might formalize the guidance.

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The Sunshine State's surgeon general has previously been "an outspoken critic of pandemic-era safety measures such as quarantines, wearing face masks, and vaccines," writes Politico. His approach and strategy toward the pandemic match that of DeSantis.

University of Florida professor and former CDC infectious disease specialist Dr. Sonja Rasmussen told AP she's worried Ladapo's latest guidance might undermine recommendations from other health officials.

"I'm really concerned that this is going to make parents question what they are hearing from every other source — pediatricians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC,'' Rasmussen said.

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Brigid Kennedy

Brigid is a staff writer at The Week and a graduate of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Her passions include improv comedy, David Fincher films, and breakfast food. She lives in New York.