Florida’s top doctor has urged men aged 18 to 39 not to get a Covid vaccine, claiming the jab significantly raises their risk of dying from heart conditions.
Dr Joseph Ladapo, the state’s surgeon general, said the mRNA jabs raise the risk of cardiac-related death by 84 per cent in young males.
The vaccine-skeptic official cited a Florida Department of Health analysis to back up his claims — but independent scientists say it contains major statistical flaws.
In a tweet that was censored by Twitter over the weekend before being reposted, Dr Ladapo said Florida would ‘not be silent on the truth’.
He now becomes the most high-profile US doctor to break ranks from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who says the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are safe for the vast majority of healthy children and adults.
The CDC recognizes the vaccines in rare cases can cause myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, but believes the benefit of protecting against Covid outweighs the risk.
Several studies have indicated the virus is more likely to cause heart problems than vaccines, which makes the argument even more nuanced.
But in recent months, as Covid death rates have trended downwards, several countries have changed their stance.
Denmark and Norway have already banned Covid vaccines for non-seniors, while next month Sweden says it will stop recommending them for 12 to 17-year-olds.
Covid jabs are credited with saving more than 300,000 lives in 2021, according to official analysis.
But the CDC’s rollout of bivalent booster vaccines this winter has been sluggish with just five per cent — or 11million people — of over-12s coming forward despite the Government spending $5billion on the jabs.
Dr Joseph Ladapo, Florida’s top doctor issued the warning over the Covid jabs this weekend. He is pictured above before signing a bill by Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis in 2021
The above is based on the Florida Department of Health’s own analysis. It shows the risk of suffering a heart attack after getting the jab by age group and gender. It was calculated by comparing the fatality rate from the heart conditions a month after getting the vaccine, to that between one and five months later
The graph shows the number of updated Pfizer and Moderna shots in vaccine clinics
Independent scientists have criticized the Florida paper cited by Dr Ladapo, describing its methodology as ‘incredibly flawed’.
One of the main problems is that it does not weed out people who tested positive for Covid — which itself can cause heart inflammation and other issues.
Revealing the controversial analysis on Friday, Dr Ladapo said it was ‘important’ that the risks of jabs were communicated to Floridians.
‘Studying the safety and efficacy of any medications, including vaccines, is an important component of public health,’ he said.
‘Far less attention has been paid to safety and the concerns of many individuals have been dismissed.’
Up to one in 7,000 American teens suffered heart inflammation after their Covid vaccine
Thousands of American teenagers may have suffered heart inflammation after getting a Covid jab, a study suggests.
Researchers found up to one in 7,000 boys aged 12 to 15 years old developed myocarditis after receiving the Pfizer vaccine.
The condition — which is mild for most but can cause a recurrent heart palpitation in rare cases — was most common after the second dose.
Covid is also mild for most teenagers with only 1,745 Americans under-18 dying from the disease compared to more than 800,000 over-50s.
Experts said their paper was not proof people should stop being vaccinated, adding the benefits still ‘greatly outweigh’ the risks.
Covid itself is known to cause myocarditis, with some studies known it is more common from infections than after an inoculation.
Vaccinating children has been hugely contentious during the pandemic because of the smaller risks Covid poses to them compared to older adults.
The Florida Department of Health published the eight-page document on Friday that was not peer-reviewed and had no authors mentioned.
It included 3,400 fatalities in the state from heart conditions over five months.
The authors conducted a self-controlled case series, meaning they looked at people who had died of any cause except Covid.
They compared their risk of dying in the 28 days after getting their last Covid vaccine to their risk over the six month follow-up period.
They found in the 28 days after getting an inoculation people were less likely to die of any cause.
But most, especially young men, were more likely to die of a ‘cardiac-related’ cause such as a heart attack.
The Florida Department of Health said their analysis suggested an 84 per cent higher risk of death from myocarditis among men aged 18 to 39 years.
There were 20 fatalities in the first month, they said, compared to 52 over the next four months.
For comparison among women they said the risk was 59 per cent higher. This was based on 10 fatalities in the first month compared to 33 in the other.
Many scientists have been quick to blast the analysis as making ‘little to no sense’.
Dr Monica Ghandi, an expert in medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told DailyMail.com today that the analysis had several ‘flaws’.
‘I do not think this study should be used to set policy on the mRNA vaccines in younger males,’ she said.
‘It has some methodological flaws including a small sample size, no described change in overall mortality and a failure to account for Covid-related mortality, a control group that was biased and a failure to look at the long-term benefits of the vaccine to younger males.’
Dr Deepti Gurdasani, an ardent Covid vaccine supporter at Queen Mary University of London in the UK, slammed it as ‘incredibly flawed’.
‘This study tells us nothing about the risks or benefits’, she said in a Tweet.
‘Vaccines have saved millions of lives, and are continuing to. Do they have side effects? — yes, they are rare, but they do happen. It’s a benefit-risk calculation.’
The analysis has no listed authors online and has not been peer-reviewed by scientists, a benchmark for ensuring quality research.
It also used the ICD-10 codes from I30 to I52 to catch fatalities from heart attacks, myocarditis and other conditions.
Many doctors warn this is a generic listing often used for billing purposes, and often when the true cause of death can’t be determined.
There is also no evidence that the deaths recorded under this code were actually due to the mRNA Covid vaccine. They may be down to another factor like the virus itself or an underlying health condition.
Pictured above is the tweet announcing the study. It was initially blocked by Twitter on Friday, but was restored on Sunday without any warnings
There are mounting concerns that the US may soon face another Covid wave after cases began to tick up in Europe. Pictured above is the daily case count for America
Dr Joseph Ladapo: What has he said on Covid vaccines?
Dr Joseph Ladapo was appointed to the top health job in Florida in September last year by Governor Ron DeSantis.
Many experts have slammed his suggestions that jabs are unsafe or don’t work due to reams of evidence ot the contrary.
But a number have backed his calls for children under-7 not to be jabbed.
Covid vaccines are ‘nothing special’
Upon being appointed to Florida’s top health job, Dr Ladapo said there was ‘nothing special’ about Covid vaccines.
‘Vaccines are up to the person,’ he said. ‘There’s nothing special about them compared to any other preventive measure.’
‘It’s been treated almost like a religion. It’s just senseless.’
Covid vaccines — developed in record time — are widely credited with bringing the pandemic to an end.
They allowed people to build-up immunity to infections, helping the most at risk elderly stave off severe disease and death due to Covid.
Last year alone analysis suggests they were behind more than 300,000 lives being saved.
America ‘doesn’t know’ if jabs are safe
Dr Ladapo has also raised concerns over the safety of Covid jabs.
He said in October last year that more information was needed on how safe the jabs were.
‘You hear these stories of… nurses pregnant women who are being forced to sort of put something in their bodies that we don’t know all there is to know about yet.
‘No matter what people on TV tell you, it’s not true. We’re going to learn more about the safety of these vaccines.’
All jabs are put through rigorous testing before being approved for use in people to ensure they are safe.
Top health authorities in America including the CDC say they are safe to use.
Health chiefs are ‘scraping the bottom of the barrel’ with approving vaccines for the youngest children
Florida has stood out among America’s 50 states over the issue of vaccinating children.
It is the only one to have refused to follow the CDC in recommending them for those under seven years old, and also not to pre-order any shots for the age group.
Asked why they weren’t following recommendations in March, he said it was due to a lack of good data to support the move.
‘We’re kind of scraping at the bottom of the barrel, particularly with healthy kids,’ he said. ‘I don’t think it’s particularly radical [to not recommend jabs for the age group], I think it’s very sensible’.
Previously, the health chief has said he will not follow the Federal Government advice because it is regularly ‘inconsistent’ or ‘unsuitable’.
Many experts have also raised concerns over recommending Covid vaccines for the youngest children in the country.
This is because of the vanishingly small risk of severe disease and death they face from the virus, as well as the higher risks of myocarditis or pericarditis — heart inflammation — in the age group.
More than 86 per cent of youngsters also already have antibodies against the virus from previous infections.
Myocarditis and pericarditis are both known side-effects of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA jabs, and are more common in young men.
Just last week a paper from healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente found up to one in 15,000 men aged 18 to 29 suffered myocarditis after a Covid booster vaccine. For comparison, among women of the same age group the rate was one in 156,000.
Most cases are mild however and normally clear up on their own, with few leading to medical treatment.
Dr Ghandi told DailyMail.com that the risks are ‘quite well defined’ and ‘enhanced’ by giving a second dose or booster too close to the first.
‘It’s why we recommend spacing of at least eight weeks between mRNA vaccine doses,’ she added.
First and second doses are currently administered with a gap of at least eight weeks in the US, with booster administered from two months after the last jab or infection.
The CDC is currently rolling out updated bivalent boosters — which target Covid variants BA.4 and BA.5 — to all adults aged over 12 years old, but is particularly targeting to over-65s who are most at risk.
Some scientists have warned, however, that younger adults should avoid getting these bivalent booster vaccines until more data becomes available.
Dr Paul Offit — a top vaccines adviser on the CDC jabs committee — said it would ‘be wise’ to focus on older generations only for the jabs earlier this month.
‘We should be careful about overselling the bivalent vaccine as something better than the existing vaccine until more data are available,’ he said.
The Australian department of health warns the risk of myocarditis after the bivalent jab is similar to that from the second or booster doses.
Both Denmark and Norway have suspended Covid vaccinations for healthy under-50s and under-65s respectively because of the low risk that either group will suffer serious illness or hospitalization from the disease.
At the start of November, Sweden says it will also stop recommending the jabs for healthy young adults because of the low risk they face.
Dr Ladapo’s tweets were initially blocked by Twitter as ‘misinformation’, but were restored on Sunday without any warnings.
It is not the first time the top doctor’s views have sparked controversy in the medical community.
When he was appointed to the post in early September last year, he branded the jabs as ‘nothing special’.
He also said vaccines — credited with bringing the pandemic to a rapid end — were being treated like a ‘religion’ which was ‘senseless’.
The following month he suggested the jabs were not safe, saying that officials needed to learn more about the jabs.
And this year he has made Florida the only state to refuse to approve Covid vaccines for children because of the small risk they face from Covid.
Asked why they weren’t following the guidelines, he said it was like ‘scraping at the bottom of the barrel’ to approve shots for the youngest age group.
Before being appointed he campaigned for America to use hydroxychloroquine as a Covid treatment. This malaria treatment was later shown not to help patients.
About 68 per cent of Americans have got both doses of the Covid vaccines, official data shows.
But around 40 per cent of these have got their first boosters.
Broken down by age, data shows 71 per cent of over-65s came forward for the top-up shot owing to the high risk they face.
But among 18 to 24 year olds just 34 per cent came forward for the shots, while for 25 to 49 year olds 41 per cent got the extra inoculation.
Even though the latest updated jabs began to be rolled out in early September, data shows that less than five per cent of those eligible have come forward for the shots.
A month into the rollout just 11.5million of the 216million eligible have gone to get the shot, sparking concern in some medical circles.
Analysis suggests that the initial vaccine course has saved up to 300,000 lives among seniors — who are most at risk from the virus — in America alone.
And the US booster drive saved another 90,000 lives.
Concerns have been raised, however, over rolling out jabs to children as young as six months old.
Many experts has warned there is precious little evidence the age group — which is least at risk of serious disease or death from the virus — would benefit from the shots.
On the other hand there are also signs they may face a higher risk of myocarditis or pericarditis as a result of the shots.
Studies also suggest 86 per cent of children in America now have Covid fighting antibodies — mostly acquired via natural infection — meaning vaccines are only topping up existing immunity.
Other countries have avoided rolling out jabs to the youngest age groups because of the low risk they face.