South Florida doctor on new approval for COVID vaccines for babies, toddlers

CVS to begin vaccinations for those 18 months-4 years old at MinuteClinic locations starting Tuesday

Pediatricians in South Florida are waiting for a supply of COVID-19 vaccines for children.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has approved Moderna and Pfizer COVID vaccines for children as young as 6 months old.

Despite the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration saying the vaccines are safe and effective for kids, Florida was the only state not to pre-order them, slowing down the process of distributing them to doctors in our area.

Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis actually said the Florida Department of Health recommended against the shots, going against the recommendations of the CDC and the FDA, and doctors all across the country.

Florida’s medical community has pushed back against his statements, saying he’s wrong and putting children at risk.

So now, as pediatricians, hospitals, and health clinics are ordering them for their patients, they’re unclear when they’re going to get the shots as they’re also dealing with concerns and questions from parents wondering if they should get their kids vaccinated.

“What we have seen is that a high majority of the patients that have gotten very sick, critically ill, were not vaccinated. So we do think that there is protection with the vaccine from the severity of the disease, and I think that they bring up very good points, very valid points about, you know, ‘The vaccine’s relatively new. We don’t know much about the vaccine.’ Well, that’s true, but we also don’t know much about the virus, also, meaning in its long-term effects on patients,” said Dr. Guillermo DeAngulo, of Kidz Medical Services.

Some of the biggest private pediatric practices in Florida say they’re still trying to figure out when they’ll get the vaccines, and hospitals, like Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, say they’re going to do their best to communicate with the community about their timeline.

“Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is working to secure supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine for children under age 5,” the hospital said in a statement Monday. “Once we have the vaccine in hand, we will update our vaccine clinic web page and post the information on social media. We thank interested parents for their patience while we take steps to make the vaccine available to this latest population for which the Centers for Disease Control now recommends the vaccine.”

CVS confirmed that they will begin administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to those 18 months to 4 years old beginning Tuesday at its MinuteClinic locations. Appointments can be made by visiting MinuteClinic.com. Appointments will be available on a rolling basis as locations receive a supply.

For now, the best thing you can do is check with your child’s pediatrician and see when they will be available.

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About the Authors:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.