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Desantis and Florida surgeon general warn against new Covid booster vaccine

Following the recent release of an updated booster due to recent spikes in COVID-19 cases, multiple Republican presidential candidates have gone against the use of the CDC’s newest vaccine. 

Florida presidential candidate Ron Desantis, and Florida surgeon general Joseph Ladapo have been one of the more vocal opponents against the announcement, urging citizens under the age of 65 from using the vaccine in an online panel on Wednesday.

“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,” said DeSantis.

“What I have directed our department to do is to provide guidance that really recommends and advises against the use of these mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for anyone under 65,” said Ladapo. “With virtually every walking human being having some degree of immunity and 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.”

The booster, announced in an official statement on Tuesday, is said to be updated versions of the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna that targets a “subvariant of omnicron XBB. 1.5.” The CDC advised that everyone from ages 6 months and up who hadn’t received a Covid shot within the last two months to get the booster to “reduce the chances of suffering the effects long Covid.”

Ron Desantis has led an administration that has increasingly become vaccine-skeptical, specifically to COVID-19. In recent months, the presidential candidate has gone on the attack against former president Donald Trump, who was in office when the COVID-19 vaccine was produced. 

The CDC quickly fired back in a statement, with its director Dr. Mandy Cohen, reminding the public that these COVID-19 vaccines have saved lives and kept countless people out of the hospital. Additionally, Cohen stated that Desantis and Lampo’s statements were dangerous and unfounded.

Desantis and other Republicans across the country have continued to rally against COVID-19 measures. Dr. Marisa Levine, a public health expert at the University of South Florida-Health, echoed in a statement with USA Today that this continued increasing skepticism towards American health officials will help no one.

“There’s an underlying motivation here that people have to be aware of and it’s not really helpful to the public. It undermines our institutions, which is dangerous and evokes more fear than caring and support,” said Levine.


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