Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo Issues a Health Alert, Drawing Heavy Fire From Critics

Florida Surgeon General Joseph A Ladapo and the Florida Health Department issued a “health alert” this week regarding COVID-19 vaccines, drawing heavy fire from critics.

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A recent tweet from Ladapo and the Health Department showed a letter to the FDA, where Ladapo explained and justified his recent health recommendations regarding the vaccines, in which he floated the idea that children and healthy young men may not need to receive a dose.

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The letter called the CDC and FDA to conduct “unbiased research…to better understand these vaccines’ short- and long-term effects,” citing basic ethical obligations healthcare providers have to inform patients of the benefits and risks of any treatment.

Ladapo took shots at the Biden White House and Big Pharma in his tweet of the letter.

“While the Biden administration and Big Pharma continue to blindly push mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, Florida remains dedicated to responding to public health concerns guided by data and common sense.”

Throughout the letter, Ladapo cited worrying correlational data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which the CDC and the FDA oversee.

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“In Florida alone, we saw a 1,700% increase in reports after the release of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared to an increase of 400%  in vaccine administration for the same period. The reporting o life threatening conditions increased 4,400%.”

However, these complaints are not investigated unless they reveal some distinctive pattern, rendering them technically unverified. This is something Ladapo recognized. While he noted that the sheer magnitude of the shift made simple changes in reporting rates and an unlikely explanation, he only argued for more investigation, not a definitive conclusion.

In the meantime, the Florida Department of Health tweeted that the Surgeon General issued a temporary health alert to notify Floridians and their physicians of potential risks while waiting for research.

The language of the Health alert itself made this clear.

“The reporting of life-threatening conditions increased over 4,400%. This is a novel increase and was not seen during the 2009 H1N1 vaccination campaign. There is a need for additional unbiased research to better understand the COVID-19 vaccines’ short- and long-term effects.”

Ladapo expanded on this idea in a tweet announcing the alert, noting that common sense was valuable in the absence of evidence.

“Florida saw a 1,700% increase in adverse event reports after COVID-19 vaccinations. Does that sound safe and effective? I didn’t think so either. That’s why we released this health alert.   Just because “correlation ≠ causation” doesn’t mean we should abandon common sense.”

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At the end of the Health alert, Ladapo again stressed doctors’ duty to inform patients of risks and benefits and affirmed his commitment to protecting Floridian’s health.

“The State of Florida remains dedicated to protecting communities from the risks of COVID-19 and other public health concerns, specifically by promoting the importance of treatment and promoting prevention through healthy habits. We encourage our health care partners and providers to do the same.”

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