The rollout of the new COVID-19 vaccine has been met with enthusiasm and skepticism in equal measure. While health authorities recommend it for everyone over six months of age, not all experts are on board. Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Florida’s surgeon general, recently shared his concerns regarding this updated COVID-19 shot in an interview.
Florida Surgeon General Slams CDC’s Recommendation
“It’s just a really terrible idea,” Ladapo asserted. “And it’s remarkable and really spellbinding that [the CDC] would make that kind of recommendation in the absence of evidence.”
Ladapo’s reference to “evidence” revolves around clinical trials, which are yet to happen for this new vaccine. He pointed out that both the FDA and CDC had the power to mandate Pfizer or Moderna to conduct these trials, but they chose not to.
Cites Side Effects
The Florida surgeon general voiced a multitude of concerns, including the risk of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) associated with the vaccine.
He also highlighted the concept of “negative effectiveness,” where vaccinated individuals may contribute to reduced vaccine efficacy through contact with one another.
What alarmed Ladapo even further was the vaccine’s potential connection to the presence of spike proteins in the body, which can persist for up to six months after injection. These spike proteins are crucial for the entry of the SARS-CoV-2 virus into healthy cells, raising significant safety questions.
Highlighting a 16% Higher Risk
Citing a 2022 study led by UCLA and the University of Maryland, Ladapo highlighted a 16% higher risk of serious adverse events in mRNA vaccine recipients.
He argued that these concerns warrant a cautious approach rather than a rush to vaccinate, especially in the absence of clinical evidence.
Why Dr. Ladapo Urges a “Pause”
Ladapo emphasized the need for caution, stating, “There are so many reasons to say ‘pause’ at this point. Instead, the CDC and FDA are saying ‘full steam ahead.'”
He clarified that his stance isn’t against proven therapies like the antiviral drug Paxlovid but rather the lack of clinical evidence for these new COVID-19 vaccines.
He underscored the importance of thorough clinical trials, particularly in a setting where COVID continues to pose a year-round threat.
Unease Over Recommending the New Vaccine
As a physician, Ladapo expressed discomfort in recommending the new COVID-19 vaccine without substantial clinical data to support its safety.
He highlighted concerns about negative efficacy, spike protein persistence, and associations with thromboembolic events like strokes and cardiac injuries. In closing remarks, Dr. Ladapo reiterated his stance: “I don’t feel comfortable … recommending [the vaccine] to any living being on this planet.”
He urged individuals to focus on maintaining their health and taking safe medications while expressing disappointment at what he perceives as an unwarranted push for this vaccine.
In contrast, Dr. Marc Siegel, a clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, recommends the vaccine for high-risk individuals, the elderly, and those with underlying health conditions. He emphasized that the virus itself poses greater concerns than potential vaccine side effects.
However, Siegel advised against vaccination for those who’ve recently had COVID or experienced adverse reactions to previous vaccines.
Safety vs. Efficacy
Ladapo’s apprehensions highlight the ongoing debate surrounding COVID-19 vaccination. While some advocate for its widespread use, others like Ladapo remain cautious, demanding more concrete evidence of its safety and efficacy.
The debate surrounding the new COVID-19 vaccine continues to spark discussions about safety, efficacy, and the need for comprehensive clinical trials.
Policymakers Face Tough Decisions
The ultimate decision, it seems, lies with individuals, healthcare professionals, and policymakers, who must carefully weigh the available evidence and individual circumstances in the ongoing battle against the pandemic.
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