Bracy COVID vaccine event canceled amid dosing confusion

A COVID-19 vaccination event for children ages 6 months to 5 years, scheduled for Friday at the Roth Family Jewish Community Center, was canceled by State Sen. Randolph Bracy hours after announcing it during a a press conference amid confusion over the dosage of the vaccine.

Allied Health, according to its medical director Alex Evans, had planned to convert adult doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to smaller doses for children a strategy that White House coronavirus response coordinator Ashish Jha has been advised against.

Child doses of Moderna are one quarter of an adult dose.

“You don’t want somebody pulling out a big bottle and trying to figure out the right dose,” Jha said at a June 17 news conference discussing the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to grant clearance. emergency to Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for very young children. “That’s how you get dosing errors, that’s how you get in trouble and that’s not how we do it.”

He said the FDA handles dosing “very specifically and carefully to make sure these things are done safely.”

Informed of Jha’s remarks, Bracy decided to change plans for the Friday children’s vaccination event he had announced Thursday morning to a gathering of television cameras at the Maitland Jewish Community Center, which was to provide space for the ‘effort.

“We will instead order pre-packaged products [child-size] vaccine,” he said.

If parents come with children to the Maitland complex on Friday, they will be asked to wait for child doses, Bracy said.

Allied Health’s Evans said the company, which has only given COVID-19 vaccines to adults in central and south Florida, chose the conversion strategy. for “opportunity”, believing it could be done quickly but safely, but chose to abstain out of respect for Bracy’s concern.

“I want to make sure we protect our community,” he said on a conference call with Bracy and the Orlando Sentinel.

Evans said Allied Health will likely receive children’s doses in about two weeks.

Earlier in the day, Bracy told reporters he believed it was essential that parents have the choice to vaccinate their children against COVID.

“We don’t know if there will be a high demand for it,” he said. “We just wanted to provide the option.”

The Ocoee Democrat said he was working to bring vaccines to the center because Florida was the only state not to pre-order vaccines, a move that drew criticism from healthcare professionals despite the governor’s misgivings Ron DeSantis on giving “a shot” to healthy people. kids.

The state still doesn’t have vaccination programs for children, Bracy said.

“Personally, I have no position on whether children should be vaccinated. What I believe is that getting your child vaccinated shouldn’t be a political decision. It should be a parental decision,” he said. “If a parent wants to have their child vaccinated, OK. If they don’t, that’s OK too. But I don’t believe we should play politics with children’s health and deprive parents of the right to choose.

Asked about DeSantis’ opposing view, Bracy said, “I don’t think it matters what I think or honestly what the Governor thinks.”

In March, the state health department recommended no COVID-19 vaccinations for healthy children, saying the risks of vaccinating them “could outweigh the benefits,” a point of view. view contradicted by medical groups, including the Florida chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Florida was the only U.S. state that did not pre-order COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5 before the Food and Drug Administration cleared them on June 17, when the DeSantis administration cleared the vaccines. healthcare providers to place orders for vaccines.

“All children, including children who have had COVID-19 in the past, should be vaccinated,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on their website. “COVID-19 vaccines have undergone — and will continue to undergo — the most intensive safety scrutiny in U.S. history.”

The dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine is based on the age on the day of vaccination, not about a child’s height or weight, according to the CDC.

Unlike past vaccine deployments, Florida has relied entirely on private companies to vaccinate its youngest children.

Bracy said some of his constituents have inquired about vaccinating their children.

recent news

As it happens

Be the first to know with email alerts on the latest important news from the Orlando Sentinel Newsroom.

The state previously used public sites like the Orange County Convention Center and deployed mobile vaccination units to inoculate people for free when vaccines first became available to older adults and then to young people, then school-aged children.

The Jewish Community Center has been involved in other vaccination efforts during the pandemic. The group worked with the American Muslim Community Clinic in Longwood to vaccinate members of both organizations when vaccines first became available.

The center also hosted a mobile vaccination van in its parking lot.

Aaron Bernstein, director of development for Jewish Family Services of Orlando, said he was confident the child vaccination event would go ahead safely.

“It’s like when the state came out and said, ‘We provide vaccines.’ expiration or anything like that,” he said. “We trusted the professionals doing their job.”

Caroline Catherman of Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

[email protected]

Comments are closed.