Updated: Jul 14
Now stocked with baby- and toddler-size vaccines, the clinic will re-open July 22 for kids 6 months and older.
UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect the date the vaccine clinic will open at the Roth Family Jewish Community Center.
State Sen. Randolph Bracy is ready to give the Covid-19 vaccine clinic for kids 5 and under another — pardon the pun — shot.
Bracy’s initial effort to open such a clinic on July 1 at the Roth Family Jewish Community Center (JCC) was canceled amid concerns about imprecise vaccine doses. However, Allied Health, the senator’s clinic medical partner, now has baby- and toddler-size doses of vaccine, and the clinic will re-open July 22 to begin administering them, Bracy told VoxPopuli in an interview Saturday at the New Covenant Baptist Church of Orlando where he was hosting a Housing and Urban Development event for frontline workers.
“They were going to use adult vaccines but give the prescribed dosage for kids,” explained Bracy, a Democrat running for Val Demings’ open Congressional seat in District 10. “That’s what the child vaccine is: the same vaccine, just a lower dosage. There were some concerns that there was potential for error even though we have professional medical staff to administer the vaccines.”
Jake Silverman, head of security at the Roth JCC, told VoxPopuli in a phone interview that the clinic was canceled “because of misstatements from Sen. Bracy,” but did not elaborate.
“I was the one who pulled it,” Bracy maintained, adding that although the Allied Health medical staff assured him they could administer the vaccines correctly, he ultimately decided to delay the clinics to avoid the potential for overdosing or under-dosing.
“There’s no room for error,” Bracy continued. “The federal government now gives the prescribed amount to administer [to children] so no one has to draw from an adult [dose]. We have the child vaccines now.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved Covid-19 vaccines for children 5 and under on June 18. But the DeSantis administration decided against pre-ordering vaccines for this age group from the federal government, the only state to do so.
Unlike in the early days of the vaccine rollout when the Orange County Department of Health staged huge drive-thru events to inoculate as many residents as possible, no such events are listed on the county health site for children 6 months and older. Publix, another major administrator of vaccines for teens, adults and seniors, is only vaccinating kids 5 and older. Costco and Winn-Dixie are vaccinating kids 3 and older. Some CVS pharmacy Minute-Clinic are only vaccinating toddlers as young as 18 months. Of the 10 pediatrician offices that VoxPopuli recently checked with, none are offering the Covid-19 vaccine.
All of which makes Bracy’s clinic that much more vital — provided it happens. When VoxPopuli talked with Silverman, he told us there were no vaccine clinics currently scheduled on his calendar. He said given his position as head of security, nothing happens at the JCC without his knowledge.
“He doesn’t know that we’re going to have the event again,” Bracy countered. “We are definitely having the event with the JCC, with Allied Health.” He said he would announce the details at an upcoming press conference.
“I think this vaccine should be offered,” said Bracy. He’s said repeatedly that childhood vaccinations are not a Democrat or Republican issue but a parenting issue.
“I don’t think this should be politicized. I think it’s totally up to parents whether they decide to vaccinate their child or not. I don’t have an opinion on whether they should or not, but I want the option to be there.”
Bracy declined to say whether his two children are vaccinated.