Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, M.D., Ph.D., issued an alert Wednesday to the Florida healthcare sector and the public warning that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines caused a “substantial increase” in reports of adverse events in Florida.
The alert was based on a letter he sent earlier this week to the heads of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pointing out the excess risk of adverse events associated with the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
In the letter, he urged the agencies to “promote transparency” among healthcare professionals “to accurately communicate the risks these vaccines pose.”
The letter and health alert summarized the substantial increase in Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) reports in Florida after the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, including for life-threatening conditions.
The CDC and the FDA jointly administer VAERS, a database that allows healthcare professionals and others to file reports about vaccine-related injuries.
While VAERS reports of adverse events don’t prove causality, the CDC considers VAERS to be a key “early warning system” for detecting unusual or unexpected patterns of adverse event reporting that can signal safety problems with a vaccine.
VAERS reports in Florida and nationally have been made at a significantly higher rate for the COVID-19 vaccines than for all other vaccines combined.
Ladapo tweeted his alert, pointing out that “just because ‘correlation ≠ causation’ doesn’t mean we should abandon common sense.”
Ladapo reported that in Florida, there was a 1,700% increase in VAERS reports after the release of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared to an increase of 400% in overall vaccine administration for the same time period.
Reporting of life-threatening conditions increased more than 4,400%
“We have never seen this type of response following previous mass vaccination efforts pushed by the federal government. Even the H1N1 vaccine did not trigger this sort of response,” he said in his letter to the FDA and CDC.
Ladapo said the Florida findings are consistent with several peer-reviewed studies that continue to find vaccine-based health risks, and the health alert provided examples of these risks from the peer-reviewed studies.
Such risks include coagulation disorders, acute cardiac injuries, Bell’s palsy and encephalitis, which has a risk of 1 in 550 individuals according to a 2022 study in the journal Vaccine.
A study in Nature’s Scientific Reports found increased acute cardiac arrests and other acute cardiac events following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.
A 2022 study in JAMA Original Investigation found preliminary evidence of increased risk of both coronary disease and cardiovascular disease related to COVID-19 vaccines.
In his letter, Ladapo emphasized that “Health care professionals should have the ability to accurately communicate the risks and benefits of a medical intervention to their patients without fear of retaliation by the federal government.”
The letter and health alert both affirmed Florida’s commitment to protecting communities from the risks of COVID-19 and to promoting treatment and prevention through healthy habits.
Ladapo consistently argued for a science-based — not fear-based — approach to pandemic
Ladapo, a distinguished graduate of Harvard Medical School and well-published medical researcher, gained prominence early in the pandemic for arguing that fear — not sound public health science — was driving public messaging around COVID-19.
He published a series of articles in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal criticizing lockdown measures and arguing the health system “would be less burdened if more patients were treated before they require hospitalization, and there are promising therapeutic options that patients can administer themselves at home,” The Defender reported.
Ladapo recently authored the book, “Transcend Fear: A Blueprint for Mindful Leadership in Public Health.”
He discussed his book and the public health response to COVID-19 with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., on an episode of “RFK Jr. The Defender Podcast,” in August of last year.
Brenda Baletti Ph.D. is a reporter for The Defender. She wrote and taught about capitalism and politics for 10 years in the writing program at Duke University. She holds a Ph.D. in human geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master's from the University of Texas at Austin.
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