Child vaccine orders available in Florida, Ron DeSantis admin denies White House’s ‘false’ reversal story

biden desantis
'The state of Florida intentionally missed multiple deadlines to order vaccines to protect its youngest kids.'

Officials in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration are saying a report that Florida is reversing course, now allowing health care providers to order COVID-19 vaccines for young children, is false and disinformation. However, providers can now start ordering doses designed for children.

Until Friday, Florida didn’t allow providers to pre-order vaccines for young children. But providers can order vaccines now that the federal government has given its initial OK to the shots, which officials say was always the plan.

The initial story, published Friday afternoon by McClatchyDC, quotes White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying Florida would begin accepting vaccine orders for children between 6 months old and 5 years old. On Thursday, McClatchy reported that Florida is the only state that has not pre-ordered vaccines for children under 5.

“We are encouraged that after repeated failures by Gov. DeSantis to order COVID-19 vaccines even after every other state had ordered, the state of Florida is now permitting health care providers to order COVID-19 vaccines for our youngest children,” Jean-Pierre told McClatchy.

“We believe it is critical to allow parents everywhere to have the choice to get their kids vaccinated and have a conversation with their pediatrician or health care provider. Even though Gov. DeSantis reversed course and is now ordering vaccines, we will pull every lever to get pediatricians across Florida vaccines as quickly as possible. This is an encouraging first step, and we urge the state to order vaccines for its state and local health departments, so that all Florida parents have the opportunity to get their children vaccinated.”

The federal government is expected to recommend Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines for that age group this weekend, but Florida’s Republican Governor on Thursday told reporters the state would continue recommending against vaccinating healthy children.

During a press call an hour after the story published, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Ashish Jha told reporters Florida has now ordered vaccine doses that are designed for children. Florida is the only state that did not pre-order those vaccines and therefore won’t be able to administer shots to children on time because the state missed wave one and wave two of preordering.

“The state of Florida intentionally missed multiple deadlines to order vaccines to protect its youngest kids,” Jha said. “Now, despite repeated efforts to reach out and engage officials in the state of Florida, elected officials deliberately chose to delay taking action to deny Florida parents the choice of whether to vaccinate their children or not.”

Despite federal officials detailing that Florida providers can now accept orders during the standard ordering phase, DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw told Florida Politics Florida did not change course.

“The White House (Press Secretary) and (McClatchyDC) are both spreading disinformation. NOTHING has ‘reversed’ or changed. The State of Florida is not placing any orders of (COVID-19) shots for 0-5 year old babies and kids,” Pushaw tweeted.

Florida Department of Health (DOH) Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern similarly told Florida Politics the story is false and that nothing has changed.

“Contrary to disinformation circulating, the vaccine ordering process has not changed in Florida. COVID-19 vaccine ordering — including for the 6 month to 5 year age group — has always been available to providers,” DOH wrote in a news release. “Following the Emergency Use Authorization issued today, June 17, 2022, enrolled providers are able to order COVID-19 vaccines for the newest authorized age groups through Florida SHOTS.”

Although individual providers can order vaccines, Florida is not directing state and public health departments to administer vaccines to children.

“This will specifically leave the most vulnerable underserved children of Florida behind,” Jha said.

“Florida’s decision to not participate in the cumbersome vaccine pre-ordering process never prohibited vaccine supply from being ordered or from being available in Florida,” DOH wrote in its release.

The United States on Wednesday moved closer to approving the first COVID-19 shots for children younger than 5 after the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) vaccine advisers gave their thumbs-up. That puts the vaccine on a timeline for approval by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this weekend next week.

“We are affirmatively recommending against doing COVID vax for young kids, particularly these 6-month-old, 2-year-old, little, little kids,” DeSantis said Thursday.

“That’s not the same as banning it. I mean, people can access it if they want to,” he continued, calling it a choice.

DOH is led by Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, who has been controversial in questioning the effectiveness or safety of masks and vaccines during the pandemic. Under Ladapo, Florida has already deviated from federal recommendations by recommending against vaccinations for healthy children between the ages of 5 and 17.

Much of Ladapo’s commentary on COVID-19 tells Floridians to do their own research. DeSantis followed a similar refrain Thursday, encouraging people to watch the FDA panel’s meetings, held Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The trial date on that is abysmal. I’d encourage people to look at it. It should not have gotten emergency use,” DeSantis said.

Dr. Peter Marks, the FDA’s vaccine chief, presented data during Wednesday’s meeting showing what he described as a “quite troubling” spike in young children’s hospitalizations during the omicron wave. He noted that 442 children under age 4 died during the pandemic. That’s far fewer than adult deaths but should not be dismissed in considering the need for vaccinating the youngest kids, he said.

DeSantis characterized officials as noting children’s risk for severe infections is low, but still saying parents are frightened about their children contracting COVID-19.

“Why would they be frightened about it? It’s because of media hysteria. It’s because of a lot of misinformation. That’s why they’re scared,” DeSantis said.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • Arm The Homeless

    June 17, 2022 at 3:05 pm

    What kind of answer is this from Gov. Ronny-Bobby and his pet witch doctor?

    It’s the media’s fault that Gov. Ronny-Bobby ignored COVID and parents are afraid that their kids may be irreparably harmed?

  • Two foods

    June 17, 2022 at 3:11 pm

    Really bad time to be born in Florida right now since it’s run by evil ham sandwich and a Mayonnaise speaker.

    • PJ

      June 19, 2022 at 1:28 pm

      Best Governor in the uS

  • Antonio

    June 17, 2022 at 4:13 pm

    This whole story is silly. There is PLENTY of the vaccine available for those who want it in Florida. Every Walgreens or CVS has the signs promoting the availability of it.

    • Arm The Homeless

      June 17, 2022 at 4:49 pm

      Tell me you don’t know how vaccine procurement works without telling me you don’t know how vaccine procurement works.

      • Antonio

        June 18, 2022 at 3:23 pm

        Show me where the overwhelming demand for it is in conjunction with the lack of it in Florida. Unlike a lot of other people, I have no problem admitting I’m wrong if the facts bear out. Are you saying that the vaccine is in short supply statewide in Florida? Which one? All of them?

  • tom palmer

    June 17, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    Our fearless leader strikes out again.

  • Andrew Finn

    June 17, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    Yet again Emperor DeSantis strikes !!!! Florida is the only state not to order the vaccine for the young children. How much more of this jackass will we endure, and how many more people (including children) will have to die before we are hopefully rid of the “Florida Fuhrer” after this November’s elections?????? Can’t happen soon enough, maybe even in time for a real governor (not a wanna-be dictator) to repair the damage.. One can only vote and hope !!!!!!

    • Pennie Blair

      June 19, 2022 at 1:30 pm

      You should do some research if the horrific adverse events and deaths.

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    June 18, 2022 at 8:41 am

    The left desperately seeking distraction from the miserable economy it has created.

    • James Robert Miles

      June 18, 2022 at 11:01 am

      By…. manipulating our anti-science Governor to out-Trump the former guy? Kids dying from Covid is certainly distracting… and desperate. SMDH.

    • Don’t Look Up

      June 18, 2022 at 11:46 am

      Another Broward County miserable Trumpster hack has posted.

  • Jeanne Wrann

    June 18, 2022 at 10:18 am

    What happened to freedom of choice? Dicktator moRon disantis was all about freedom of choice but this past year we’ve been living under the dictators choices. What gives him the right to make decisions for women children elderly the disadvantaged the LGBTQ community right to their choices the right to vote in a safe place the right to protest the right to the pursuit of happiness in one’s own home???¿????¿ This guy is taking all of our rights away

  • rass

    June 18, 2022 at 10:58 am

    DeSatan should legally change his name to “Rona” don’t cha think? He is a buffoon and a disgrace to Florida.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn