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Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and Gov. Ron DeSantis discuss putting forward new COVID guidanceFOX 13 / YouTube / Screenshot

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (LifeSiteNews) — The state of Florida will officially advise against giving experimental COVID-19 shots to healthy children, pushing back against advice from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which calls for universal vaccination for all children ages five and up.

Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, who heads up the state’s health department and has frequently challenged the prevailing narrative surrounding masking, lockdowns, and COVID jabs, announced the move during a roundtable event organized by Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday.

“The Florida Department of Health is going to be the first state to officially recommend against the COVID-19 vaccines for healthy children,” Ladapo said at the end of the panel discussion, in which physicians and researchers discussed the widespread harms caused by COVID lockdowns and mandates throughout the U.S.

Dr. Ladapo, who earned his MD from Harvard Medical School and his PhD from Harvard University, criticized the advice of public health experts who recommend giving the experimental COVID drugs to healthy children.

“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.

Since November, the CDC has recommended that all children ages five and up, regardless of health profile, receive the jabs. 

The recommendation comes in spite of the fact that children face extremely low risk from the virus. Furthermore, the efficacy of the jabs has been shown to wane significantly over time, and a growing body of data indicates the shots have contributed to hundreds of thousands of adverse events, including over 20,000 fatalities.

While Florida will be the first U.S. state to formally advise against COVID-19 vaccination for children, it’s not alone in doing so.

In January, Sweden’s Health Authority decided against recommending COVID-19 jabs for children between the ages of five and 11, citing “low risk of serious disease for kids” and no “clear benefit with vaccinating them.” 

Meanwhile, Florida’s decision to buck CDC guidance is consistent with the policies pursued by the Republican-led state throughout the coronavirus pandemic. 

While nearly every other state enacted lockdowns, mask mandates, and coercive jab policies, Gov. DeSantis actively worked to defend individual liberty against the incursions of what the governor termed a “biomedical security state.”

DeSantis’ actions, including a formal ban on school mask mandates, a prohibition against vaccine passports, and a commitment to reject lockdown strategies, have endeared him to many Republicans who see him as a strong contender for the U.S. presidency in 2024.

In his comments Monday, Dr. Ladapo did not elaborate on when the official guidance from the Florida Department of Health will be released.