The Department of Health in Florida recommends healthy children to not get the COVID vaccine, the surgeon general said.

Florida is the first state to not recommend COVID vaccines for healthy children, therefore defying guidance from the country's top top infectious disease and pediatric health experts. On Monday, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo announced that the state will advise against COVID vaccinations for healthy children.

Newsweek reported that during Monday's roundtable discussion on the "failures" of the Florida's COVID response, Ladapo announced that the state is strongly advising against vaccinating healthy children to protect from COVID.

This advice goes directly against the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which for a long time has strongly recommended vaccination in children aged five and up. The CDC claimed that COVID has become "one of the top 10 causes of death" for young unvaccinated children since the beginning of the pandemic.

The decision will make Florida the first in the country to advise parents not to vaccinate healthy children against COVID but has not yet been officially announced by the state's Department of Health. But Ladapo said he was confident in the future of the decision.

"The Florida Department of Health is going to be the first state to officially recommend against the COVID-19 vaccines for healthy children," Ladapo confirmed on Monday. "We're kind of scraping at the bottom of the barrel, particularly with healthy kids, in terms of actually being able to quantify with any accuracy and any confidence the even potential of benefit."

The announcement was made after several health experts selected by Gov. Ron DeSantis argued that the benefits of the COVID vaccine for children do not outweigh its risks, USA Today reported. Dr. Robert Malone, a prominent COVID vaccine critic, argued that "the consensus of over 17,000 physicians and medical scientists are that the risk-benefit ratio for children does not justify vaccination." He appeared to refer to a declaration signed by thousands of medical professionals as part of the "Global COVID Summit."

Meanwhile, the CDC said on its website that it "recommends everyone ages 5 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19." University of Florida's Dr. Sonja Rasmussen, a professor of pediatric medicine and epidemiology argued that "although children are at lower risk than adults, they are certainly not at no risk from COVID-19.

In Florida, there have been 42 children under the age of 16 who died from COVID, as per the state's Department of Health statistics. Meanwhile, 481 people aged 16 to 29 have also died from COVID in the state.

Across the U.S., over 12 million cases of COVID have been reported among children since the beginning of the pandemic. This has accounted for up to 19% of all infections in the U.S., as per the American Academy of Pediatrics. On the week ending February 24, children made up 26.2 of COVID infections in the U.S.

The decision to advise parents not to vaccinate healthy children against COVID comes as Florida begins to distance itself from COVID mandates and restrictions and as the U.S. moves to a new phase of dealing with the pandemic, with mask mandates being dropped all over the country.