Florida surgeon general calls for halt on mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, citing health risks

'I am calling for a halt to the use of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines,' said Dr. Joseph Ladapo.

Florida surgeon general calls for halt on mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, citing health risks
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File
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Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo has urged healthcare providers to stop using COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, referencing alleged health risks that federal officials have dismissed as "misinformation."

In a statement released on Wednesday, Ladapo asserted that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has failed to provide proof that coronavirus vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna have undergone evaluation for "nucleic acid contaminants" potentially leading to cancer. Challenging the FDA's stance that this risk is "implausible," Ladapo demanded an immediate cessation of the use of the sanctioned mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, Fox News reports.

"I am calling for a halt to the use of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines," the Florida surgeon general said in a statement.

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have always played it fast and loose with COVID-19 vaccine safety, but their failure to test for DNA integration with the human genome — as their own guidelines dictate — when the vaccines are known to be contaminated with foreign DNA is intolerable," he added.

Last month, a senior FDA official countered Ladapo's arguments and what the FDA termed as "the proliferation of misinformation" regarding vaccine safety.

In a letter dated Dec. 6 to FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf and CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen, Ladapo expressed his apprehensions about the authorization of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. He referenced a pre-print study which, he claimed, revealed that "billions of DNA fragments per dose of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccines."

Pointing to FDA guidance on vaccines that "use novel methods of delivery regarding DNA integration," Ladapo raised doubts about whether the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines had undergone evaluation to comply with FDA's criteria, highlighting a possible cancer risk.

In a written response, Dr. Peter Marks, the director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, stated that the likelihood of residual small DNA fragments entering the nucleus of human cells and subsequently modifying DNA to induce cancer is "implausible."

"We would like to make clear that based on a thorough assessment of the entire manufacturing process, FDA is confident in the quality, safety, and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines," Marks wrote in a Dec. 14 letter. "Additionally, with over a billion doses of the mRNA vaccines administered, no safety concerns related to residual DNA have been identified."

Marks added that the top challenge regulators face "is the ongoing proliferation of misinformation and disinformation about these vaccines which results in vaccine hesitancy that lowers vaccine uptake."

"The FDA’s response does not provide data or evidence that the DNA integration assessments they recommended themselves have been performed," the surgeon general said in a statement. "Instead, they pointed to genotoxicity studies — which are inadequate assessments for DNA integration risk. In addition, they obfuscated the difference between the SV40 promoter/enhancer and SV40 proteins, two elements that are distinct."

"DNA integration poses a unique and elevated risk to human health and to the integrity of the human genome, including the risk that DNA integrated into sperm or egg gametes could be passed onto offspring of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine recipients," Ladapo stated. "If the risks of DNA integration have not been assessed for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, these vaccines are not appropriate for use in human beings."

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