Lauren Dempsey, MS in Biomedicine and Law, RN, FISM News
The FDA is facing backlash over a video the agency posted to their twitter page on Wednesday encouraging those who have had previous COVID-19 infection to get vaccinated. Dr. Peter Marks, the director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, suggested that a previous infection is no match against the current variant, stating that to fight off the virus “you need high levels of immunity” that can only be acquired and maintained through vaccination and booster shots.
He goes on to state “if you’ve been vaccinated and have also had COVID-19, it’s probably also a good idea to get a booster” and that getting vaccinated is important to “help prevent you from getting into further trouble with a new variant down the line.”
This seems to contradict the science behind the vaccines as well as natural immunity and has drawn criticism from experts and the general public.
This video prompted responses from Dr. Vinay Prasad and Dr. Marty Makary, who cite the lack of evidence to support the claims made by Dr. Marks in the video. Dr. Prasad criticizes Dr. Marks’ assertion that if you’ve had an older strain of the virus that you should get a booster while failing to mention that the COVID-19 vaccines are made from the spike protein of previous SARS-CoV-2 variants.
The booster shots work by providing a temporary boost in the immune system to offer some protection; however, current research is showing that this immunity wanes quickly, in some cases after just 10 weeks, and offers limited protection against the Omicron variant. The booster shots are also not newly formulated vaccines based on which variant is circulating. When a person gets a booster shot, they are getting another dose of the exact same vaccine they received in their primary series of a Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Makary slammed the agency’s failure to acknowledge natural immunity as an adequate method of protection from COVID-19 infection and responded to Dr. Prasad by asking, “Can we report this to twitter as misinformation?”
The Johns Hopkins surgeon has been an outspoken critic of how the United States has handled the coronavirus pandemic. In a Fox News interview last week, the physician said that officials have failed “to recognize that the risk of this virus is not equally distributed in the population” and that now the response “has to be custom-tailored.”
The idea that medicine is not “one size fits all” is not novel. However, under the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandates, the individual is expected to do what is considered best for the general public and collective good. In this case, the science does not seem to matter.
Despite backlash and scientific data that contradicts the official narrative, public health officials and President Biden continue to push vaccination as the only way to end the pandemic. President Biden continues to demand that Americans get vaccinated and boosted, maintaining that “there is no excuse- no excuse for anyone to be unvaccinated” and insisting that “you can protect yourself, and you should protect yourself, quite frankly. Get vaccinated, get boosted.”