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Florida doctors frustrated with delay in ordering COVID-19 vaccines for children 5 and younger

Some local doctor offices expect to receive shipments of the vaccine next week.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida doctors are now able to order COVID-19 vaccines for children 5 and younger, but doctor tells First Coast News the process has taken longer than it he thinks it should have.

"This afternoon, we did log in and were able to order a couple of hundred doses for our patients," Dr. Ryan Cantville recalled. 

Jacksonville pediatrician Dr. Ryan Cantville finally had success Monday, beginning the ordering process for COVID-19 vaccines for children 5 years old and younger.

It came three days after the state began allowing doctors to do so through the Florida Shots website.

"Parents have been calling our office for the last couple of weeks asking when their six-month-old can get the vaccine. We continue to tell them we are just waiting on the state's approval," Cantville said.

Cantville estimates it will likely be next week when his office, Jacksonville Pediatrics, will get the doses. 

RELATED: Yes, the FDA has authorized COVID-19 vaccines for kids as young as 6 months old

He says it would have been sooner had the state pre-ordered the vaccine. Florida was the only state not to do so.

A day before emergency authorization was issued last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis said parents and doctors would be able to have access to the vaccine, but no state programs or local health departments would be administering them.

"That is not something that we think is appropriate and that is not where we are going to be utilizing our resources in that regard," he said at a news conference in south Florida.

Last Friday, the Florida Department of Health put out guidance for providers in ordering the vaccines.  Some doctors say there will be shipping delays and are frustrated the state didn't give them the green light sooner.

"Just talk to your pediatrician and let them guide you, right? You chose your pediatrician because you trust them with your child. Let's continue to trust our pediatricians in our community," Cantville said.  

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