Studies and other data show that the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines should not be given to young men, Florida’s surgeon general says.
Florida health officials recently analyzed data on vaccinated state residents and detected a sharp increase in heart-related deaths among males aged 18 to 39 after vaccination. The state is now recommending that population, with exceptions, should not get one of the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines.
“In young men, from 18 to 39, it clearly was a signal for increased risk,” Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo told EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program. “That was the main finding.”
Taken together with other research that has found young vaccinated males experiencing heart inflammation at higher rates than unvaccinated young males—including studies from Scandinavia, England, and the United States—Florida officials decided to issue the new recommendation, which contradicts guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“There are a number of studies that are indicating that these vaccines, mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular and cardiac events. And we just added to that with another one,” Ladapo said.
“While our study is not definitive—and we never claimed it was—the fact that there is so much evidence that is consistent with our findings very obviously means that you need to consider whether doing … COVID-19, mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations, including them in a strategy, a public health strategy for young men at this point in the pandemic, makes sense. … It doesn’t make any sense. And obviously, should not be giving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to young men at this point in the pandemic,” he added later.
The official statement communicating the updated Florida guidance says that the benefit of vaccination for young males is likely outweighed by the “abnormally high risk of cardiac-related death.” It noted that the other available COVID-19 vaccines were not linked with the risk.
Pfizer and Moderna have not responded to requests for comment on the Florida research and recommendation.
The CDC continues to recommend virtually all Americans get a COVID-19 vaccine and is now advising a new round of boosters. Some Americans have already received six shots in under two years.
The CDC and its vaccine advisory panel “have determined that the benefits (such as prevention of COVID-19 cases and its severe outcomes) outweigh the risks of myocarditis and pericarditis after receipt of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines,” the agency says on its website.
The vaccines have proven increasingly ineffective against infection as newer virus variants have emerged, and have also conferred less protection against severe illness.
In special circumstances, there may be exceptions to the new guidance, Ladapo said, including for organ transplant recipients, though they may be better served by taking Evusheld, a prophylaxis.
“But in the general population,” he said, “it is obviously a bad call to continue charging forward in the face of the evidence that we have thus far.”