Monday, August 8, 2022

Pediatrician in Florida fired from state council for comment on pro-vaccine

A pediatrician in Florida has been kicked out of a state-appointed public health board for rulings on COVID-19 vaccines that dissatisfied at least one Republican-elected official.

The pediatrician, dr. Lisa Gwynn, advocated for equal access to the vaccine for children under 5 years of age at a time when the state of Florida was in violation of federal health advice from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Florida is currently still the only state that has not ordered vaccines for young children, despite the CDC’s recommendation that children under 5 should get the shots to protect against serious diseases and death by the coronavirus.

Gwynn’s medical recommendation elicited a harsh response from Florida’s chief financial officer Jimmy Petronis, an ally of the state’s hardline governor Ron DeSantis (R), who traded misleading information about the vaccines and encouraged residents to do their own research. to do about the pandemic. Both men are eligible for re-election this year.

Petronis’ deputy chief of staff, Susan Miller, told Gwynn in an email seen by HuffPost that his “party has made many political statements that do not reflect the chief financial officer’s position.”

Gwynn told HuffPost she had not received any prior warning or offer to discuss the situation.

Miller accused the doctor of “going so far as to say that the state is ‘hindering'[ing]”access to vaccines,” an apparent reference to a June 17 press release from the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In the US, coronavirus vaccine distribution is done on a state-by-state basis, with state leaders placing large orders for the drugs on behalf of local health care providers. Because DeSantis refuses to place an order for Florida, parents of young children in the state are limited in where they can go to get the shots, the FCAAP says.

Miller continued: “The chief financial officer does not share your opinion and believes that the state has put a lot of effort into protecting lives against the coronavirus.”

Petronis has no medical background.

Gwynn called the decision “disappointing” in a tweet.

“It was not a matter of opinion or views,” she said in a recorded interview with local station WSVN. “It was just the fact of the consequences of the decision taken by the surgeon general not to allow local health departments to carry the COVID vaccine for children under 5.”

Parents in Florida have reported difficulty finding appointments for their children to be vaccinated.

Nation World News Desk
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