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DeSantis says COVID vaccines will never be required school immunizations in Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis waves to the crowd as he attends an event Friday, March 10, 2023, in Davenport, Iowa. (AP Photo/Ron Johnson)
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FR50269 AP
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis waves to the crowd as he attends an event Friday, March 10, 2023, in Davenport, Iowa. (AP Photo/Ron Johnson)

Gov. Ron DeSantis held a press conference in Winter Haven Thursday continuing to tout his limited approach to COVID-19 regulations.

DeSantis continues to speak out against lockdowns, vaccine passports and school closures that he says weren't backed by science.

The governor also says that moving forward, no Florida student will ever be required to get the COVID vaccine in order to attend a K-12 school in the state.

“The CDC has added it to the immunization schedule for for children," said DeSantis. "We don't think that that's justified based on the data.” 

DeSantis continued to question the science and safety behind the vaccines as he has throughout the pandemic, despite CDC data that shows the shots are not only safe but effective.

“Do not think that that should be something that that school children should ever be forced to do. And so we're going to make all that permanent," said DeSantis. "And I think that that's something that's going to make a big, big difference.”

Last October, the CDC voted to recommend the shot for all children and adults in the US, stressing that this did not mean the COVID shot was required for schoolkids.

Only state laws can mandate which vaccines children are required to receive.

For a list of immunizations that are required for schoolkids in Florida, click here.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
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