Under 65? Gov. DeSantis administration says skip new COVID-19 booster shot

'I will not stand by and let the FDA and CDC use healthy Floridians as guinea pigs.'

In direct contradiction to new guidance from federal health authorities, Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration are telling Floridians under 65 to forgo getting newly approved COVID-19 booster shots.

This week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended all Americans six months and older receive an updated COVID-19 vaccine.

“I will not stand by and let the FDA and CDC use healthy Floridians as guinea pigs for new booster shots that have not been proven to be safe or effective,” DeSantis said. “Once again, Florida is the first state in the nation to stand up and provide guidance based on truth, not Washington edicts.”

Florida Department of Health Secretary and State Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, a persistent critic of vaccines, countered that guidance with his recommendation that most Floridians should skip the vaccine.

Florida’s suggestion that residents younger than 65 forgo getting a COVID-19 booster was announced during a 40-minute roundtable discussion DeSantis held with Ladapo and other doctors, including Dr. Jay Bhattacharya. Bhattacharya is a Stanford professor who has backed DeSantis on his positions against lockdowns and mask mandates.

During the discussion, Ladapo and the others questioned the decision to authorize the new boosters. They contended federal authorities did not have enough data from clinical trials to justify the recommendations.

“The federal government is failing Americans by refusing to be honest about the risks and not providing sufficient clinical evidence when it comes to these COVID-19 mRNA shots, especially with how widespread immunity is now,” Ladapo said.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday called on Americans to get the booster shots ahead of winter.

“As we head into fall and winter, we are in our strongest position yet with more tools and systems available than ever before, including safe and effective vaccines, widely available at-home tests, and effective treatments,” Biden said.

“Vaccination against COVID-19 remains the most important protection in avoiding hospitalization, long-term health complications and death. I encourage all Americans to stay up-to-date on their vaccines.”

COVID-19 in Florida has led to more than 90,000 deaths statewide since the pandemic began in early 2020. According to the latest Department of Health report published on Sept. 1, there has been a recent uptick in the number of cases.

Florida had nearly 24,000 reported cases the week that ended on Aug. 31. That’s up from the 7,320 cases reported in late June.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


  • Rick Whitaker

    September 13, 2023 at 5:11 pm

    so desantis is willing to bet his junk science against peoples lives. what a gamble. i can see him gambling his life, but not everyone in the state. yeah, he’s a punks punk.


  • Tjb

    September 13, 2023 at 5:18 pm

    Just a reminder. Under DeSantis’s leadership, Florida had one of the worst Covid death rate on a per capita basis in the country, significantly worst than California, a state DeSantis would regularly mock for their ineffective Covid prevention policies.


  • Terri

    September 13, 2023 at 5:22 pm

    Florida has the most cases right now in the whole USA. You do what you want but I am not going to let some egotistical ass running for president tell me what I should do! I have a doctor and if he suggests to me to get the shot I will probably get it. It amazes me that people listen to political figures to tell them whether they should get a damn shot. Who runs your life?


  • Ocean Joe

    September 13, 2023 at 5:30 pm

    If you’re taking medical advice from a politician…you might be a redneck.


  • Richard Russell

    September 13, 2023 at 5:32 pm

    Only a fool takes a “shot” that isn’t proven. Regardless of my age, I never took nor won’t be taking the Fauci profit shot from anyone, for any reason.


    • WhatNow

      September 13, 2023 at 5:57 pm

      – You have your final arrangements all wrapped up, yes?


    • Tropical

      September 13, 2023 at 11:21 pm

      Excellent plan, Richie.
      Good to hear it.
      Don’t forget to hug and kiss family and friends.


    • My Take

      September 14, 2023 at 3:36 am

      It doesn’bother me that it’s not fully REtested.
      I’d happily volunteer for the test.


  • Michael K

    September 13, 2023 at 5:35 pm

    I trust the medical, public health, and scientific professionals over a feckless political hack who happily risks human lives for a cheap MAGA vote.


  • WhatNow

    September 13, 2023 at 5:59 pm

    This is the most disgusting government the State of FloriDUH has ever endured.


  • My Take

    September 13, 2023 at 6:36 pm

    PERISH for the PIPSQUEAK !


  • My Take

    September 13, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    ĹADAPO Has Webbed Feet
    ĎeSScamus has cloven “feet”


  • Robert Ball

    September 13, 2023 at 8:13 pm

    This all comes from a Governor that wants to kill migrants, gays, blacks and anyone that’s on Medicaid. Not to mention anyone from Disney. Talk about a Mickey Mouse.


  • PeterH

    September 13, 2023 at 9:38 pm

    …..and some people may actually listen to DeSantis!


  • PeterH

    September 14, 2023 at 8:30 am

    Some Florida residents will follow DeSantis’s advice.


  • Beth

    September 14, 2023 at 5:46 pm

    Florida where intelligence goes to die.


  • Michael K

    September 14, 2023 at 6:48 pm

    The MAGAts don’t care if they get sick or die.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


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, 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