WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says Florida doctors will be able to directly order COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5 from the federal government.
The announcement came after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state would not order and distribute the shots.
“We are encouraged that after repeated failures by Governor 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,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
The state was the only jurisdiction in the nation to decline to place advance orders for the pediatric shots.
In March, Florida's surgeon general announced the state would become the first state in the country to officially advise against vaccinating healthy children for COVID-19.
The child vaccines received authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on Friday.
Final authorization from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected in the coming days, clearing the way for the last remaining unvaccinated age group to be eligible for shots.