Over the past four months, the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have vigorously pushed the new bivalent vaccine on all eligible Americans. In his final White House briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci stated, “Please, for your own safety, for that of your family, get your updated COVID-19 shot as soon as you’re eligible to protect yourself, your family, and your community.”
Yet, only 12 percent of Americans 5 and older have received the updated booster. Meanwhile, just over 30 percent of senior citizens — the most have gotten the bivalent dose. In attempts to increase vaccine uptake, the Biden administration has announced a six-week campaign budgeting more than $475 million to expand mRNA vaccine outreach. $350 million will go into community health centers to promote booster awareness while another $125 million will be devoted “to national organizations that serve people with disabilities and older adults to support community vaccination programs and efforts.”
Instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to persuade Americans to get a fourth shot they likely don’t need, the authorities ought to take a step back and examine why no one is getting the new booster.
Low bivalent vaccine uptake may, at least in part, stem from the disastrous public launch in September when the new shots were approved on the basis of testing on eight mice. No human data existed at the time, yet the new shots were authorized under the much-abused “emergency use authorization” mechanism. This time, even the media’s most trusted public health experts were expressing concern and skepticism. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, FDA vaccine advisory member Dr. Paul Offit stated, “I’m uncomfortable that we would move forward—that we would give millions or tens of millions of doses to people—based on mouse data.”
On the concern of safety, it was the CDC and FDA’s responsibility to assure the public that the updated booster didn’t carry significant risks like the primary series. Knowing the alarming prevalence of vaccine myocarditis, convincing tens of millions of healthy men to get the new shot was already a hard sell. As the most robust research (Kaiser Permanente) on vaccine-induced myocarditis shows, roughly 1 in 1,800 young men are injured after the second dose. Long-term effects are unknown, but current studies show over half of vaccine myocarditis patients had an abnormal cardiac MRI and a third were not fully recovered at the three-month check-up.
What reassurance have CDC officials given to those concerned with the most common serious adverse event caused by mRNA vaccination? According to CDC official Dr. Sara Oliver, “We know that the myocarditis risk is unknown but anticipate a similar risk to that seen after the monovalent vaccines.”
A similar risk? About 1 in 2,000 to 1 in 5,000 for men under 40? For a disease with an infection fatality rate of less than 0.035% that only harms obese, severely ill, and immunocompromised people?
Are they serious?…