Putting Floridians at Risk (PAUL OFFIT, NOV 27, 2023, Beyond the Noise)

Ladapo also claimed that Covid boosters are unsafe, stating that, “mRNA COVID-19 vaccines present a risk of subclinical and clinical myocarditis and other cardiovascular conditions among otherwise healthy individuals.” A vaccine is considered to be safe if it’s benefits clearly outweigh its risks. But no vaccine—indeed no medical product—is absolutely safe. Myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, occurs in about 1 in 100,000 mRNA vaccine recipients. Myocarditis following Covid infection occurs in roughly 1 in 5,000, a 20-fold increase compared with vaccination. Also, whereas myocarditis following vaccination is typically short-lived and self-resolving, myocarditis caused by Covid is more serious. Therefore, regarding myocarditis, the benefits of mRNA vaccination outweigh the risks.

Ladapo’s recommendation to boost everyone over 65 doesn’t make sense. First, if he believes that Covid boosters are ineffective and unsafe, then he shouldn’t recommend them for anyone. Second, if Ladapo believes that boosters should be targeted only to those at greatest risk, why limit the vaccine to those over 65. Other groups are also at risk, such as people with comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease or people who are immune compromised or people who are pregnant. Third, technically, everyone over 65 is not necessarily at high-risk of severe Covid. Recent data from the CDC showed that 99 percent of those over 65 hospitalized with Covid have at least one comorbidity and 90 percent have at least two. By recommending the vaccine for otherwise healthy people over 65, Ladapo is including many people who are less likely to benefit.

In the name of standing up to the “Washington edicts,” Governor DeSantis and his state’s Surgeon General have put many Floridians at unnecessary risk and inexplicably offered the vaccine to some who are not at high risk.