Fried says Florida's inaction on vaccines for toddlers creates 'chaos and confusion'
Speaking in Orlando Tuesday, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said Florida’s decision not to pre-order COVID-19 vaccines for infants and toddlers has created "chaos and confusion."
Fried said her department's website will add a search tool to help parents of young children find the vaccine in Florida and urged parents to visit vaccines.gov.
The FDA has authorized Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for children ages 6 months to 4 years old. The CDC is recommending those vaccines.
Commissioner Fried, who is seeking to run against Gov. Ron DeSantis in November, said the state's decision not to pre-order will likely cause delays. And she says failing to provide the shots at health departments impacts low-income families.
"Not only is the Florida Department of Health recommending against COVID vaccines for our kids, against all mainstream public health guidance, the governor is trying to take away parents' rights and access to vaccines to protect their children," Fried said.
The Department of Health insists the vaccines for young children will be available -- thanks to the federal government -- at many retail pharmacies, community health centers and doctor's offices.
Publix isn’t offering those shots.
Orlando Health isn’t either. It is, quote, “evaluating the demand,” according to an emailed statement. AdventHealth is referring parents to retail pharmacies.