US authorities debunk Florida Surgeon General’s vaccination claims

ORLANDO, Fla. – US health authorities have sent a letter to Florida’s surgeon general and warned him that his claims about COVID-19 risks are harmful to the public.

The letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was sent to Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo on Friday.

Ladapo was appointed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2021 and has done so a national examination on his close cooperation with the governor in rejecting COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other public health guidance passed by the federal government.

Ladapo released last year recommend instructions against COVID-19 shots for healthy children, at odds with federal health leaders whose advice says all children should get the shots.

He also recommended against men ages 18 to 39 who receive the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, claiming that an analysis by the Florida Department of Health showed an 84% increase in heart-related deaths.

In their letter, federal authorities debunked the analysis’ conclusion, saying cardiovascular experts studying the concern concluded that the risk of stroke and heart attack was lower, not higher, in vaccinated people.

More than 13 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered worldwide, with little evidence of side effects, according to federal health officials.

“It is the job of public health officials across the country to protect the lives of the populations they serve, especially those who are vulnerable. Fueling vaccine hesitancy undermines those efforts,” read the letter, signed by FDA Commissioner Robert Califf and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.

The Florida Department of Health did not respond to an email inquiry about the letter Saturday.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission. US authorities debunk Florida Surgeon General’s vaccination claims

Sarah Y. Kim

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