In a virtual discussion alongside State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, I expressed reservations about the recently updated COVID-19 vaccine for those below 65. This session, live-streamed via X (previously known as Twitter), highlighted concerns raised by Floridians being urged to get the new shot despite being elderly.
The state’s top health official voiced concerns over the absence of sufficient human clinical trials and the efficacy of the boosters. DeSantis declared he is unwilling to let the FDA and CDC utilize healthy Floridians for unproven boosters, asserting that Florida prioritizes truth over Washington mandates.
Dr. Ladapo criticized the federal government’s approach, emphasizing the need for transparent risk information and adequate clinical evidence, especially given the prevalent immunity. He added that Florida remains dedicated to safeguarding Floridian rights and providing accurate info.
Previously, in May, DeSantis enacted several measures against COVID-19 restrictions and mandates, prohibiting items like vaccine passports, mask mandates in schools and businesses, and hiring decisions based on vaccination status.
These statements from Florida officials come after the CDC’s recommendation for an updated COVID-19 vaccine for everyone above six months who haven’t been vaccinated in the last two months. CDC Director Mandy Cohen expressed confidence in the broader preventive measures available against severe COVID-19 outcomes.
Following this, the FDA greenlit the updated vaccine for emergency use, emphasizing vaccination’s crucial role in safeguarding public health. This updated vaccine, primarily from Pfizer and Moderna, targets current variants, including the omicron variant XBB.1.5, and aims to enhance protection against grave COVID-19 repercussions.
Dr. Anthony Fauci acknowledged a minor myocarditis risk with mRNA vaccines but underscored that COVID-19 posed a higher myocarditis risk.
Dr. Marc Siegel, from NYU Langone Medical Center, suggested that while high-risk individuals might benefit from the updated vaccine, it may not be essential for younger, healthier individuals, especially if they’ve been previously vaccinated. He recommended targeting the elderly and those with health conditions.
Governor DeSantis is currently running as a Republican for US President and is second in national primary polling.