TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida’s governor and surgeon general are sounding the alarm on the newly approved COVID-19 booster, suggesting that individuals under the age of 65 avoid Pfizer’s latest shot.
The CDC and FDA have signed off on the new dose designed to protect against new variants of the COVID-19 virus. It’s approved for emergency use which means there’s no clinical data available for the shot.
“With virtually every walking human being having some degree of immunity and the questions we have about safe and effectiveness, especially safety, in my judgment it’s not a good decision,” said Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo.
In a social media post, DeSantis said the shots were “hastily approved.”
Data from the CDC shows COVID hospitalizations are on the rise, however, the numbers are lower than this time last year. In 2022, only 17% of eligible individuals received the previous booster.
Some doctors believe the new shot could be helpful for Floridians.
“People are still being hospitalized with COVID, adults, not so much children. It’s the adults we want to keep out of the hospital,” said Dr. Juan Dumois, a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. “If the last time you had a COVID vaccine was a year ago, you might be the kind of person who does benefit from getting the new vaccine, to get a boost to your immunity.”
The new shots are expected to roll out within the week. The doses will be available for anyone 6 months and older.