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COVID-19 Vaccines in Florida
In March of 2022, State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo released guidance stating that based on currently available data, healthy children aged 5-17 may not benefit from receiving the currently available COVID-19 vaccine. Children with underlying conditions are the best candidates for the COVID-19 vaccine. The guidance can be found here.
In October 2022, State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo announced new guidance regarding mRNA vaccines. The Florida Department of Health conducted an analysis through a self-controlled case series, which is a technique originally developed to evaluate vaccine safety. This analysis found that there is an 84% increase in the relative incidence of cardiac-related death among males 18-39 years old within 28 days following mRNA vaccination. As a result, the State Surgeon General recommends against the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines for males ages 18-39 years old. Individuals with preexisting cardiac conditions, such as myocarditis and pericarditis, should take particular caution when considering vaccination and discuss with their health care provider.
On April 18, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the emergency use authorizations (EUA) of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 bivalent mRNA vaccines. This update included authorizing the current bivalent vaccines (original and omicron BA.4/BA.5 strains) to be used for all doses administered to individuals 6 months of age and older, including for an additional dose or doses for certain populations.
The monovalent Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines are no longer authorized for use in the United States.
Most individuals may receive a single dose of a bivalent vaccine. Certain individuals may be eligible for additional doses depending on age and immunocompromised status.
Most unvaccinated individuals may receive a single dose of a bivalent vaccine, rather than multiple doses of the original monovalent mRNA vaccines.
The FDA intends to make decisions about future vaccination after receiving recommendations on the fall strain composition at an FDA advisory committee in June.
The updated COVID-19 vaccine guidance can be found on the FDA’s website at: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-authorizes-changes-simplify-use-bivalent-mrna-covid-19-vaccines