TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis’ hand-picked surgeon general on Wednesday warned healthy adults under the age of 65 against taking a new Covid-19 booster, contradicting the Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration.
Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, M.D., speaking during a roundtable that DeSantis hosted, said that after three years of Covid, most healthy people don’t need to worry about getting infected from a virus that has killed more than 1 million people across the country.
Ladapo is a well-known vaccine skeptic who has claimed some shots pose risks to healthy young men.
[Ladapo received a M.D. from Harvard Medical School and a Ph.D. in Health Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 2008. Ladapo completed clinical training in internal medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. – HEADLINE HEALTH ]
“With the amount of immunity that’s in the community — with virtually every walking human being having some degree of immunity, and with the questions we have about safety and about effectiveness, especially about safety, my judgment is that it’s not a good decision for young people and for people who are not at high risk at this point in the pandemic,” he said.
Previous guidance by Ladapo about Covid-19 vaccine safety has been widely rejected by the medical community. Daniel Salmon, director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University, said Wednesday it appeared that Ladapo and the others at the roundtable were selectively highlighting data to show problems with the new boosters.
“In general, they’re cherry-picking data and facts and science,” Salmon said. “And I think that they’re there, because they don’t want to recommend this vaccine for Florida.”
Jason Salemi, an epidemiology professor at the University of South Florida College of Public Health, said there are plenty of credible studies showing that healthy people under the age of 65 are still at risk of death from Covid-19.
“Equipping ourselves with and implementing mitigation measures can result in considerably less severe illness, less long Covid, and less mortality, all with little impact on our day-to-day lives,” Salemi wrote in an email. “So, there is clearly a need.”
The CDC and FDA this week gave the green light for two new vaccine boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which are recommended for people ages 6 months and up …