Earlier this week, the CDC unanimously voted to add the controversial COVID-19 vaccine into the childhood immunization schedule. While the CDC is not making the shot mandatory, there are fears that states and schools will make it so. As a result, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) spoke at a press conference saying that no Florida school district will be able to implement vaccine mandates.
A recent tweet by Gov. DeSantis contains the portion covering the issue, adding that "as long as I am Governor, in Florida, there will not be a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for children in our schools.
In the video itself, DeSantis says that "there's been a lot of questions to our office about the CDC potentially adding COVID vaccines to the childhood immunization schedule. And I know a lot of parents are concerned about that, because if that's on the immunization schedule, the fear is that schools could potentially mandate your child to get a COVID shot. Even if that's not something that you want to do."
He then reassures the audience he will resist the implementation of a mandate so long as he is Governor. "So I just want to be clear, as long as I'm around, as long as I'm kicking and screaming, there will be no COVID shot mandates for your kids. That is your decision to make as a parent."
DeSantis describes how the vaccines are new, and have less benefit for children. "These are new shots. I get a kick out of people kind of comparing it to MMR [measles, mumps, rubella] and stuff, things that have been around for decades and decades. So parents by and large, most parents in Florida have opted against doing these booster shots, particularly for the young kids. The Surgeon General of Florida does not recommend this for young kids, for kids younger than 18. And basically, his reason for that is there's been not really been a proven benefit for that. I mean, we can get into some of the potential side effects, you don't really need to do that, not been a proven benefit. But it's a free state, parents can make the other decision if that's what they want. The important thing is, is that school districts are not mandating this choice."
First Lady Casey DeSantis retweeted the clip, saying that "thanks to @GovRonDeSantis, FL parents will always have the right to make decisions in the best interest of their children. Regardless of today’s CDC action, schools in FL cannot require children to receive a COVID shot. Mamas can count on @GovRonDeSantis."
Thanks to @GovRonDeSantis, FL parents will always have the right to make decisions in the best interest of their children.
Regardless of today’s CDC action, schools in FL cannot require children to receive a COVID shot.
— Casey DeSantis (@CaseyDeSantis) October 20, 2022