Florida's Surgeon General, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, has ignited a dispute by advocating for a "pause" in the administration of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, diverging from federal health guidelines. This development coincides with a nationwide sluggish response to the updated COVID-19 booster, with Florida facing notably discouraging statistics.
In an official statement from the Florida Department of Health, Ladapo made reference to a letter dated December 6 addressed to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), outlining apprehensions about "nucleic acid contaminants" in the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, along with the potential "distinct risks associated with DNA integration."
Florida Surgeon General Not Convinced COVID-19 Vaccines Are Safe?
Despite the FDA's dismissal of Ladapo's concerns in a response on December 14, expressing assurance in the vaccines' quality and safety, the Florida Surgeon General remains unconvinced. Ladapo, in a statement released on a Wednesday, criticized the FDA's explanation as insufficient, asserting that the agency presented "no proof that these risks have been evaluated to ensure safety."
Nevertheless, the FDA reiterated its trust in the COVID-19 vaccines through an email to local sources, denouncing Ladapo's assertions as deceptive. FDA spokesperson Cherie Duvall-Jones underscored the millions of lives preserved by mRNA vaccines and disputed Ladapo's viewpoint.
mRNA Vaccines Are Safe According To Bloomberg School Of Health
Contrary to Ladapo's claims, mRNA vaccines, as per the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, do not engage with DNA. They furnish cells with instructions to generate the spike protein present on the coronavirus surface, prompting an immune response. In his December response to Ladapo, the FDA's director, Peter Marks, stressed the implausibility of DNA fragments reaching cell nuclei.
Ladapo's contentious position on vaccines is not novel. In 2021, he faced criticism for discouraging the COVID-19 vaccine for healthy children, making Florida the inaugural state to defy CDC recommendations. In March 2023, the CDC and FDA jointly rejected Ladapo's assertions of heightened health risks, labeling them as "inaccurate, misleading, and detrimental." A recent analysis also disclosed Ladapo's recommendation against vaccination for young men, citing flawed guidance following the omission of crucial vaccine data by Florida health officials.
Amidst the nation's struggle with vaccine hesitancy, Ladapo's conflicting viewpoints persistently trigger concerns, fueling ongoing discussions about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
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