Surgeon general opposes COVID-19 shots for young children

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and Gov. Ron DeSantis are shown at a news conference in West Palm Beach on Jan. 6.

As the federal Food and Drug Administration weighs approval of COVID-19 vaccinations for children under age 5, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo is opposed to the potential change.

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee met Wednesday to discuss amending emergency-use authorizations for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children as young as 6 months old.

Ladapo, who has long criticized vaccination requirements for adults, said Tuesday he would not support vaccinating young children against the coronavirus.

“From what I have seen, there is just insufficient data to inform benefits and risk in children. I think that’s very unequivocal,” Ladapo told reporters in Tallahassee. The surgeon general, who also is secretary of the state Department of Health, said his opinion on vaccinating infants and young children is “consistent” with the department’s other guidance on vaccines.

“We expect to have good data that the benefits outweigh the risks of any therapies or treatments before we recommend those therapies or treatments to Floridians. That is not going to change. I don’t think that is particularly radical. I think it’s very sensible,” Ladapo said.

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