Fact Check: Gov. DeSantis Did NOT Say FL Schools Would Not Require Any Vaccinations Against Infectious Diseases -- Only COVID-19

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Gov. DeSantis Did NOT Say FL Schools Would Not Require Any Vaccinations Against Infectious Diseases -- Only COVID-19 Just COVID-19

Did Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis say that Florida schools would no longer require vaccinations against polio, measles and mumps for its students? No, that's not true: DeSantis has only said that Florida schools will not require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The claim appeared in a quote tweet (archived here) published on October 31, 2021. The original tweet was from DeSantis' Twitter account and included a clip of a press conference. DeSantis' tweet also said that there would be "no vaccine mandate" for students. However, the quote tweet read:

Ron DeSantis announces Florida schools will no longer require vaccinations for polio, measles, & mumps...

This is what the post looked like on Twitter on November 1, 2021:

Twitter screenshot

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Mon Nov 1 19:01:22 2021 UTC)

The press conference, found in full here, shown in DeSantis' tweet was held on October 28, 2021. DeSantis and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody held the conference to announce a lawsuit filed against the Biden administration by the state of Florida over the federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for contractors announced in September 2021. The governor and attorney general did not mention vaccination guidance for polio, measles and mumps during the conference.

In an email to Lead Stories on November 1, 2021, Christina Pushaw, press secretary for Florida's Executive Office of the Governor, said that the claim is "disinformation":

Governor DeSantis made it very clear in the context of this press conference - and every other time he has mentioned this topic - that he is only referring to COVID-19 vaccine mandates. K-12 students in Florida have never been and will never be required to get the COVID-19 shot.

The schedule of required vaccines for K-12 schools is not changing. Florida has always required the standard vaccines for schools, with exceptions for students who have evidence of previous infection (and thus natural immunity) for varicella. For years, parents have been able to opt out due to sincerely held religious beliefs or medical concerns; schools have honored these exemptions and will continue to do so.

Pushaw also directed us to the Florida Department of Health's schedule of vaccinations for K-12 students, found here (archived here). Required vaccinations include the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) and the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

While Pushaw provided us with information about the differences between COVID-19 vaccination and other childhood vaccinations, the inclusion of such information is outside of the scope of this fact check.

Lead Stories has previously debunked several claims about or involving DeSantis.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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