Contrary to both good sense and the CDC’s advice, the Florida Department of Health plans to be the first to recommend against vaccinating healthy children for Covid.
Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, who has promoted hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin while remaining publicly skeptical of Covid vaccines, made the announcement at a roundtable discussion with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis this afternoon.
“We’re kind of scraping at the bottom of the barrel, particularly with healthy kids, in terms of actually being able to quantify with any accuracy and any confidence the even potential of benefit,” he said. In reality, the Pfizer vaccine has been found to be 91 percent effective in preventing symptomatic infections in children 5 and older.
Children have always been at lower risk of hospitalization and death from Covid than adults, but the arguments against vaccinating them amount to little more than fear (ironically for Ladapo) of an extremely rare inflammation of the heart more likely to be caused by the coronavirus itself. Plus, kids can likely still carry the virus and spread it to adults. More than a harsh rebuke of established scientific knowledge, Florida’s decision is, like the state’s Don’t Say Gay bill, a politics of grievance paraded as one of common sense. Science will always have doubts. But using those quirks to advocate for policies that harm others doesn’t make sense. That is, unless the only data you care about comes in the form of polls.