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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (LifeSiteNews) — Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis hosted a roundtable discussion Wednesday with health experts on the latest knowledge about the COVID-19 shots, including a formal recommendation against anyone below age 65 taking COVID boosters.

“I will not stand by and let the FDA and CDC use healthy Floridians as guinea pigs for new booster shots that have not been proven to be safe or effective,” said DeSantis. “Once again, Florida is the first state in the nation to stand up and provide guidance based on truth, not Washington edicts.”

“Once again, the federal government is failing Americans by refusing to be honest about the risks and not providing sufficient clinical evidence when it comes to these COVID-19 mRNA shots, especially with how widespread immunity is now,” added Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. “In Florida, we will always use common sense and protect the rights and liberties of Floridians, including the right to accurate information.”

The new guidance from the Florida Department of Health states that the “most recent booster approval was granted in the absence of any meaningful booster-specific clinical trial data performed in humans. In both cases the federal government has failed to provide sufficient data to support the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines.”

Therefore, “[b]ased on the high rate of global immunity and currently available data, the State Surgeon General recommends against the COVID-19 booster for individuals under 65. Individuals 65 and older should discuss this information with their health care provider, including potential concerns outlined in this guidance.”

The guidance goes on to share evidence that, as opposed to conventional vaccines, the mRNA-based COVID shots are “associated with negative effectiveness after 4 to 6 months” and “increased risk for infection” once efficacy wanes, “risk of subclinical and clinical myocarditis and other cardiovascular conditions among otherwise healthy individuals,” and potential health risks from “[e]levated levels of spike protein… persist[ing] among some individuals for an indefinite period of time,” as well as potential risks from repeat injections, which are not yet understood.

“I just think that at this point, with the amount of immunity that’s in the community, with virtually every walking human being having some degree of immunity, and the questions we have about safety and about effectiveness – especially about safety – my judgment is that it is not a good decision for young people and for people who are not at high risk, at this point in the pandemic,” said Ladapo.

Florida’s guidance differs sharply from that of the federal health bureaucracy and mainstream medical establishment, but Ladapo pointed out that the Sunshine State is in line with a consensus developing in Europe. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC’s) recommendation of broad booster use as young as six months “differs from those in most European countries that have issued guidance,” which are only recommending boosters for those 60 and up, as well as other vulnerable groups, Reuters acknowledged this week.

”I know that it is something that may be surprising to people who are hearing the CDC and the [U.S. Food & Drug Administration] say something very different, but you know, take a look at it,” Ladapo said. “Take a look at the fact that we are straight with people about data and about what is known and unknown and is best for you.”

The CDC’s promotion of the boosters is “absolutely not supported yet,” argued participant Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford, one of the nation’s earliest and most prominent critics of COVID lockdowns and establishment medical orthodoxy. ”I’m not saying it’s not true. The answer is, we just don’t know.”

“The FDA in historical times would, no chance would they have approved this,” Bhattacharya said. “And I don’t understand what’s going on at the FDA right now that they would, and the CDC would, recommend it at scale.”

“We found that there were significant adverse events in about one in 800 people who were vaccinated, which is a pretty high level of serious adverse events,” said Dr. Patrick Whelan of the University of California-Los Angeles. “It would have been even higher if it weren’t for the fact that the Moderna placebo group had a very high adverse events rate.”

“I take care of many children who have a neurobehavioral condition called PANDAS syndrome, and I also take care of a lot of kids, teenagers mostly, who have long COVID kind of symptoms,” he continued. “There are real concerns about the role the coronavirus and the vaccines have played in triggering these under-studied disorders.”

“It seems to me that in the best of all worlds, we would be demanding now that the vaccine makers release patient-level data to researchers in order to balance the real risks against the probable benefits in selected populations,” Whelan argued. “There is no robust follow-up now with regards to the side effects of the older vaccines. I would think we’d want to create a means by which the parents of every COVID-vaccinated child would be called at a one-week, one-month, six-month interval to ask how they’re doing, rather than making people navigate the vicissitudes of” the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).

The FDA and CDC have approved an updated booster shot accounting for the latest variants of the virus, which is expected to be available by the end of the week, while President Joe Biden is asking Congress to approve funding to develop entirely new COVID vaccines, citing variants. Defenders argue that new human clinical trials were unnecessary for this week’s booster because it is only a modification of the previous injections, which were tested. But controversy persists over the rigor and transparency of that testing, which was conducted under former President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed initiative in a fraction of the time vaccines usually take. Substantial evidence links the shots to serious medical risks, but it has largely gone ignored by the medical establishment and most politicians.

DeSantis, arguably the most anti-lockdown officeholder in America and a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has been a rare exception. Initially supportive of the shots in 2021 (without mandates), his administration changed course as evidence against them mounted, and last year petitioned for a grand jury investigation into the mRNA vaccines’ manufacturers, including the possibility of “misleading the public for financial gain” as to their products’ performance relating to “transmission, prevention, efficacy, and safety.” That grand jury report is slated to be complete in December, although jurors may request an additional six months.

Meanwhile, DeSantis’s chief rival and current frontrunner for the nomination, Trump, again refused to disavow the vaccines in an interview this week with Megyn Kelly.

“Some friends of mine that are Democrats […] say, ‘I don’t understand one thing: Why don’t you talk more about the vaccine. That was one of the greatest things you’ve ever done,’” the former president said. “They said, ‘You saved 100 million people’ because I got it done in nine months as opposed to five years to 12 years […] I never got, I think, the credit that I deserved on COVID.”