TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida will recommend most citizens don’t take the latest COVID-19 booster shot, saying Wednesday there is not enough data to show the potential benefits of the vaccine outweigh potential risks.
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is running for president, and Florida Surgeon Joseph Ladapo discussed the vaccine with doctors on a Zoom call livestreamed on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. It repeated much of what they said a week ago during a live event in Jacksonville, in which they warned against the vaccine the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved this week.
“This has obviously been a flashpoint in our society,” DeSantis said Wednesday. “In Florida, we’ve obviously taken a different approach.”
The discussion began with the words “NO WAY FDA” on the screen before DeSantis introduced the doctors.
“We continue to live in world where the CDC and the FDA, when it comes to COVID at least, are just beating their own path in a direction that’s inexplicable in terms of thinking about data and in thinking about common sense,” Ladapo said.
Ladapo’s previous warnings against COVID-19 vaccines prompted a public letter from federal health agencies saying his claims were harmful to the public. The FDA and CDC sent the letter in March to Ladapo, a DeSantis appointee who has attracted national scrutiny over his close alignment with the governor in opposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other health policies embraced by the federal government.