Under pressure, Florida lets doctors order vaccines for young kids

Facing withering pressure from medical professionals and the federal government, Florida began to allow pediatricians, children’s hospitals and other physicians on Friday to order coronavirus vaccines for the youngest children, according to state and White House officials. The shift would ensure that families would be able to get the shots at doctors’ offices, though later than in every other state in the country.

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The White House praised the move as an important first step, calling it a “reversal” by Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican with presidential ambitions who frequently casts himself as a foil to President Biden. Mr. DeSantis’s administration insisted that it had not budged from its original position and only allowed orders once the Food and Drug Administration authorized the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for very young children on Friday morning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could grant its endorsement on Saturday.

Unlike the other 49 states and the District of Columbia, Florida did not allow health care providers to preorder the vaccines ahead of the federal government’s June 14 deadline. As a result, no doses will be sent to doctors’ offices in the state during the first wave of vaccine shipments, scheduled to arrive starting on Monday. The second wave of preordered doses, which Florida also missed, is scheduled to arrive about a week later.

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