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Florida suspends health official in probe over vaccine law

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A health official who has helped lead central Florida’s response to the pandemic has been placed on administrative go away as state officers examine whether or not he tried to compel workers to get vaccinated for COVID-19 in violation of state law.

The state health company is conducting an inquiry into Raul Pino, director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, “to determine if any laws were broken in this case,” Florida Department of Health press secretary Jeremy Redfern mentioned in an electronic mail.

A measure Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law final fall prohibits authorities companies from implementing vaccine mandates and restricts non-public companies from having vaccine necessities except they permit employees to choose out for medical causes, spiritual beliefs, immunity based mostly on a earlier an infection, common testing or an settlement to put on protecting gear.

“The Department is committed to upholding all laws, including the ban on vaccine mandates for government employees and will take appropriate action once additional information is known,” Redfern said in the email. He didn’t offer further details.

Orlando’s WFTV reports that Pino was put on leave after he sent an email to staff earlier this month critical of their vaccination rate.

Pino wrote that out of 568 staffers, only 77 had received booster shots, 219 had gotten two vaccines doses and 34 only had a single dose, according to the television station.

“I am sorry but in the absence of reasonable and real reasons it is irresponsible not to be vaccinated,” Pino wrote. “We have been at this for two years, we were the first to give vaccines to the masses, we have done more than 300,000 and we are not even at 50% pathetic.”

Pino has led the health company in Orange County since 2019 and has served as a number one determine in the general public response to the pandemic in metro Orlando.



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