By Tom Ozimek(Epoch Times)
A longtime vaccine adviser to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said most Americans don’t need another COVID-19 booster as the Biden administration prepares to push another round of shots.
Dr. Paul Offit, who advises the FDA on various types of vaccines, told the Daily Mail that the upcoming updated COVID-19 boosters that are meant to target new variants don’t need to be taken by middle-aged and younger Americans without underlying health conditions.
Dr. Offit told the outlet that public health imperatives would be “best served by targeting these booster doses to those who are most at risk of severe disease,” which is basically the argument that mitigation measures like vaccines should focus on the vulnerable while the rest of the populace goes about their lives normally.
“Specifically, those over 75 years of age, those who have health problems that put them at higher risk of severe disease (such as obesity, chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease and diabetes, among others) [and] those who are immune-compromised and those who are pregnant,” Dr. Offit said, listing some of the conditions that he thinks warrant the newest COVID-19 booster.
It’s an argument he’s made before, when in an article in a medical journal in February 2023 he said that asking young, healthy people to get boosted with a variant-specific booster is pointless.
“I believe we should stop trying to prevent all symptomatic infections in healthy, young people by boosting them with vaccines containing mRNA from strains that might disappear a few months later,” Dr. Offit wrote in the paper.
In his remarks to the Daily Mail, he called boosting young, healthy people a “low-risk, low-reward strategy.”
Many Americans are likely to take a hard pass on the new COVID-19 booster shot unless mandated, according to Dr. Kevin Bass, a medical researcher and immunology specialist.
“Public opinion has swung so hard against the vaccines that I can’t imagine a scenario where a significant amount of people are going to sign up for another shot,” Dr. Bass told The Epoch Times in a recent interview. “If people have the choice, they are going to say no.”
Falling enthusiasm for the vaccines comes amid increasing evidence of negative health outcomes following inoculations, along with a growing loss of confidence in public officials, according to Dr. Bass.
There have been reports linking spike protein-based COVID-19 vaccines to skin problems, a dull ringing in the ears known as tinnitus, visual impairments, blood clotting, and even death.
Dr. Offit’s remarks come amid warnings from government and health officials about a new COVID-19 variant circulating, while President Joe Biden said last week that all Americans would likely be advised to get another booster.
Overall in the United States, there’s been a 15.7 percent rise in hospital admissions due to COVID-19 in the most recent week, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over the same period, there’s been a 10.5 percent increase in COVID-19 deaths while test positivity is down 0.6 percent, per the CDC.
Despite a rise in some COVID-19 indicators, the numbers are much lower than a year ago. Still, some institutions have started to adopt mask mandates, sparking pushback in some circles and a “we will not comply” trend on social media.
For instance, former President Donald Trump recently accused “left-wing lunatics” of fear-mongering about new COVID-19 variants in order to justify the reintroduction of lockdown policies and other mandates—all in a bid to rig the 2024 election.
“We will not shut down our schools. We will not accept your lockdowns. We will not abide by your mask mandates, and we will not tolerate your vaccine mandates,” the former president said in a video posted on Truth Social.
Also, President Trump recently told former Michigan gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon in a conversation on her podcast that pharmaceutical companies have an “obligation to be honest” about vaccine side effects and should disclose all relevant data on vaccine harms.
During their conversation, Ms. Dixon asked about President Biden’s announcement to fund a new COVID-19 vaccine.
“He wants everyone to get this vaccine,” Ms. Dixon said. “And we’re hearing about a lot of complaints from vaccine injured. To say a lot is an understatement.”
“Numerous pharmaceutical companies have refused to release their data on vaccine side effects,” she continued. “But we’ve seen cases of myocarditis, blood clots, and heart attacks; they’re all increasing. The research has never been released.”
She then asked if President Trump would “demand that the vaccine companies, that the pharmaceutical companies release their vaccine data to the public so that we can see what they’re actually seeing about the side effects of this vaccine?”
President Trump replied by saying that pharmaceutical companies “should do that,” adding that “we’re all in this together, and they should be doing that.”
Meanwhile, the FDA has been ordered to accelerate the pace at which it releases to the public data it relied on to license COVID-19 vaccines.
In May, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the FDA must hurry up with disclosing data that underpinned its decision to license COVID-19 vaccines, ordering all documents to be made public by mid-2025 rather than, as the FDA wanted, over the course of about 23.5 years.