Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has once again stepped up against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This time his action comes in response to the CDC’s adding COVID-19 vaccines to children’s immunization schedules.
A panel for the agency voted Wednesday to include the COVID-19 vaccine on the recommended Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. This vote does not make the jabs mandatory for American schoolchildren.
The Republican governor vowed that “as long as I’m kicking and screaming” the state will not have a COVID shot mandate for children. He told Florida residents that the decision is up to parents.
In his speech, the potential GOP presidential candidate acknowledged that his office had fielded inquiries about the CDC adding the COVID vaccines and schools possibly mandating that children be jabbed.
DeSantis further derided those who lump the new vaccines in with shots for measles, mumps, and rubella. Those, he noted, have been in circulation for decades, while parents have for the most part chosen against having their young children administered the new vaccines.
As long as I am Governor, in Florida there will not be a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for children in our schools. pic.twitter.com/oDXAj3c4Oy
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) October 20, 2022
State Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo further explained that the latest shots are new. He supported DeSantis’ reasoning by declaring that “there’s not been a proven benefit” for the most recent vaccines.
Even before the CDC vote, Ladapo tweeted that nothing would change in the Sunshine state no matter the outcome. He thanked the governor for resisting mandates and not pushing shots in schools.
Ladapo added that his office will continue the policy of recommending against the new COVID vaccines for healthy children.
DeSantis is not alone in opposing federal mandates trickling down to local schools. Missouri Gov. Mike Pearson joined the chorus on Thursday by declaring that as long as he’s in charge, he will “do everything in my authority” to block attempts by Washington to mandate COVID vaccines.
Granted, the CDC vote did not emerge as a specific mandate to state and local communities. However, anyone paying attention since early 2020 knows how quickly that can change, and DeSantis along with other state officials are right to put the brakes on new mandates before they arrive.