FCAAP Statement Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine and Florida’s Children

Mar 7, 2022 | Press Releases

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Scott VanDeman, Communications Coordinator // 850-224-3939, ext. 1005 //
Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

March 7, 2022

Tallahassee – Following a COVID-19 roundtable convened by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis where Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo recommended against the COVID-19 vaccine for “healthy children,” the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FCAAP), which represents more than 2,500 pediatricians across the state, spoke out in support of the COVID-19 vaccine for all eligible children ages 5 and older in Florida.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is our best hope for ending the pandemic,” said FCAAP President Lisa Gwynn, DO, MBA, MSPH, FAAP. “The Surgeon General’s comments today misrepresent the benefits of the vaccine, which has been proven to prevent serious illness, hospitalizations and long-term symptoms from COVID-19 in children and adolescents, including those who are otherwise healthy. The evidence is clear that when people are vaccinated, they are significantly less likely to get very sick and need hospital care. There is widespread consensus among medical and public health experts about the life-saving benefits of this vaccine.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and FCAAP both recommend that all eligible children 5 years and older and adults get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to recommend the COVID-19 vaccine as the best way to protect every eligible child from COVID-19. Children can get sick from COVID, and some get very sick,” said AAP President Moira Szilagyi, MD, PhD, FAAP. “Vaccines have the power to stop epidemics. Children make up a significant part of our population, and vaccinating children must be part of our strategy to control this virus so it cannot continue to spread.”

“The virus is still circulating in Florida,” said Dr. Gwynn. “The vaccine offers children the best opportunity to remain in school for in person learning, which is vital to their mental and emotional health, as well as allowing them to fully engage in all of the activities that are so important to their health and development. It is irresponsible to advise parents not to vaccinate their children against this virus.”

New vaccines are evaluated by a long-standing, rigorous, and transparent process through the FDA and the CDC by which safety and efficacy data are reviewed before authorization and recommendation.


Through its more than 2,500 members, the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics promotes the health & welfare of Florida’s children and supports pediatricians & pediatric specialists as the best qualified providers of their healthcare. Learn more by visiting


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