Florida Department of Health issues updated COVID-19 vaccine guidance

The Florida Department of Health has issued updated COVID-19 vaccine guidance to health care providers. Messaging continues to recommend against mRNA COVID-19 boosters for those under the age of 65. The guidance also urges doctors to address concerns with patients about waning effectiveness of the vaccine over time, risks of cardiac incidents, and increasing potential adverse events as recipients receive additional doses.

Risk level: High

Recommendation: This messaging may discourage patients from getting the updated COVID-19 vaccine, especially because this guidance is coming from a state health department and goes against CDC recommendations. Doctors in Florida may face questions about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, which reduce the risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization, death, and long COVID. Talking points may emphasize that severe adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine—including myocarditis and other cardiac issues—are extremely rare. A COVID-19 infection is more likely to cause myocarditis than a COVID-19 vaccine, and those cases are typically more severe. The benefits of staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines outweigh the risks across age groups, which is why the CDC recommends updated COVID-19 vaccines for everyone over 6 months.