Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has launched a sensational attack on the new Covid booster vaccines and urged Floridians under 65 not to take it.
The Republican Presidential hopeful claimed the shots had ‘not been proven to be safe or effective’ and accused the CDC of using ‘healthy Floridians as guinea pigs’.
Despite the strong rhetoric, Florida’s move to restrict the vaccines for healthy young and middle-aged people is not unprecedented, with countries like the UK also doing similar with their fall booster campaign.
DeSantis attracted fans during the pandemic for his hardline stance against Covid lockdowns and mandates but has been criticized more recently for promoting faulty vaccine data.
After holding a vaccine panel on Wednesday, DeSantis said: ‘I will not stand by and let the FDA and CDC use healthy Floridians as guinea pigs for new booster shots that have not been proven to be safe or effective.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis launched a sensational attack on the new Covid booster vaccines
‘Once again, Florida is the first state in the nation to stand up and provide guidance based on truth, not Washington edicts.’
The comments put DeSantis firmly to the right of rival and Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, who spearheaded the development of the mRNA Covid vaccines.
An estimated 96 percent of Americans now have antibodies against Covid, through previous infection or vaccination, which has made the disease increasingly mild for most people.
The low risk of severe disease has reduced the need for vaccines among young people, but experts say they remain vital for the elderly or chronically ill.
Dr Paul Offit, one of the FDA’s vaccine advisors, has previously told DailyMail.com that a blanket vaccination strategy is ‘low risk, low reward’.
The UK has stopped recommending the boosters for middle-aged and young Britons, but the taxpayer paid the shots there, which may have played into that decision.
Leading Florida’s vaccine discussion Wednesday was Dr Joseph Ladapo, the state’s vaccine-skeptic surgeon general who was handpicked by Gov DeSantis in 2021.
Dr Lapado also promoted the false claim that there was ‘not a drop of clinical trial data’ supporting the new Covid vaccines.
He said following the round-table: ‘Once again, the federal government is failing Americans by refusing to be honest about the risks and not providing sufficient clinical evidence when it comes to these COVID-19 mRNA shots, especially with how widespread immunity is now.
‘In Florida, we will always use common sense and protect the rights and liberties of Floridians, including the right to accurate information.’
Dr Ladapo has repeatedly endorsed claims the Covid vaccines are caused widespread heart problems in young people, a link that has been repeatedly disproven by large studies.
The mRNA shots have been linked to a very small risk of myocarditis in young people, affecting about one in 30,000 under-40s after their second jab.
But cases are normally mild and resolve on their own without the need for any medical intervention.
A Covid infection is also more likely to trigger myocarditis than the vaccines, studies indicate, making the issue even more nuanced.
And data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows cardiac deaths among Americans under the age of 34 are similar to pre-pandemic levels.
The updated Covid shots, approved just this week by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have been deemed safe for everyone aged six months and older and have been recommended for everyone in that age range.