Due to a lack of clinical trial data, Florida health officials recommend that only people 65 and older consider receiving one of the new COVID-19 vaccines.
According to Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the vaccines “are not backed by clinical evidence, but blind faith alone with ZERO regard for widespread immunity.”
The Florida Department of Health added in patient and doctor guidance (pdf): “Based on the high rate of global immunity and currently available data, the state surgeon general recommends against the COVID-19 booster for individuals under 65.” Individuals aged 65 and up should discuss this information with their health care provider, including any potential issues raised by this guidance.”
The advice contradicts the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that nearly all Americans aged 6 months and older receive one of the new shots.
According to the public health agency, vaccination “remains the best protection against COVID-19-related hospitalization and death” and “reduces your chances of suffering the effects of long COVID,” citing research from previous versions of the vaccines.
The broad recommendation of the CDC differs from that of many other countries, including the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Denmark.
The updated vaccines, according to UK authorities, will only be available to certain groups, including the elderly and staff members in adult care homes.
Pfizer and Moderna manufacture the vaccines. Pfizer has not provided any clinical trial data. The CDC’s recommendation is based on mouse testing, which revealed that Pfizer’s shot produced neutralizing antibodies that are thought to protect against COVID-19 variants.
The CDC recommended Moderna’s vaccine based on similar data from a clinical trial involving only 50 people who received one of the new shots. Another 51 were given a different formula.
According to a preprint paper describing interim results, five of the participants who received the new vaccine experienced medically-attended adverse events, including one whose event was determined by study investigators to be related to the shot.
That event was not mentioned in the paper or in government documents from the United States, and Moderna did not respond to a request for comment.
“Pushing a new COVID vaccine without human-outcomes data makes a mockery of the scientific method and our regulatory process,” op-ed authors Drs. Marty Makary and Tracy Beth Hoeg wrote.
“If public-health officials don’t want a repeat disappointing turnout of Americans who get the COVID booster shot, they should require a proper clinical trial to show the American people the benefit,” they went on to say.
Only 17% of Americans received a bivalent dose, which became available in the fall of 2022. The bivalents were replaced by the new vaccines.
“The CDC is advising children to get these boosters when there’s no evidence that children receive any benefit and clear evidence that they receive harm,” Dr. Robert Malone, who helped develop the messenger RNA (mRNA) technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, said on EpochTV’s “Crossroads.”
Myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation that can result in sudden death, is one of the risks.
Some doctors, on the other hand, believe the available data is sufficient to support the idea that the vaccines will be effective.
“The data so far suggests that the new COVID vaccine should be really quite effective against even the new emerging variants that we have seen come up in the last few weeks,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown School of Public Health and former White House adviser, on NPR. “So I’m actually quite optimistic this new vaccine is going to be protective.”
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Mr. Ladapo urged doctors and patients to weigh the evidence on vaccines and their precursors.
Multiple studies, for example, have found that the vaccinated, including those who received one of the bivalent shots, have an increased risk of infection and hospitalization over time.
“This is not found in other vaccines,” according to the surgeon general’s advice.
Other research has found that the vaccines cause myocarditis in previously healthy people and that the spike protein in the vaccines can linger in people for months.
There are also concerns about repeated injections, with some people having received as many as ten shots.
“There is unknown risk of potential adverse impacts with each additional dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine; currently individuals may have received five to seven doses (and counting) of this vaccine over a 3-year period,” according to the advisory.
Floridians should “prioritize their overall health” by staying active, limiting processed foods, eating plenty of vegetables and healthy fats, and spending time outside, according to Florida health officials.