Fox News medical contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier criticized the White House on Tuesday for turning President Biden’s COVID-19 booster into a public spectacle to promote vaccines for Americans ages 5 and older, despite there being no public clinical data to support its benefit for young people.
In a speech before receiving his booster shot earlier Tuesday, Biden said that the country has a long way to go in getting people up to date on their vaccinations and called on “all Americans” to get boosted against COVID.
Saphier said the White House has resorted to a “political stunt” get more Americans boosted because out of the 180 million bivalent boosters they purchased, only about 19 million have been administered.
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“I think the White House and the CDC must have the strongest PR campaign ever,” she said on “America Reports.” “This truly is a political stunt at this point.”
Biden, who turns 80 next month and has a cardiac medical history, is in the highest-risk category, which makes him an ideal candidate for the booster, Saphier said. But the CDC’s recent recommendation to make the vaccine mandatory for healthy children ages 5 and up doesn’t sit well with her, she explained.
“If anyone would benefit potentially from a booster, it would be him. He is in the highest risk category,” Saphier said. “The COVID deaths we are seeing right now are overwhelmingly in those over the age of 55 because they continue to be the highest risk. But when it comes to other people, I mean, the CDC has recommended ages 5 and older, I just cannot get on board with that.”
Saphier echoed other medical professionals who denounced the CDC’s decision, citing a lack of clinical data demonstrating the benefit of the vaccine in younger, healthy people.
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“We also don’t have any data showing the safety of it. A lot of the majority of children, upward of 90%, have already recovered from COVID, have natural immunity and also about a third of them have already been vaccinated as well,” Saphier said. “So, with a large amount of population immunity and a very low risk of severe illness in healthy younger people, they have not demonstrated a benefit, let alone the risk.”
Saphier said that while the height of the pandemic is over, the public should accept that COVID is here to stay.
“The emergency is over, but just like we have always dealt with flu and cold season, it is now flu, cold and COVID season, and people at high risk should consider getting updated booster shots. But until there is more data on safety and efficacy, I cannot recommend everyone 5 years old and on getting it,” she said.
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine professor Dr. Marty Makary also criticized the CDC for recommending the COVID vaccine as a requirement for young children in a Fox News appearance last week, warning that the move will further fuel vaccine hesitancy surrounding childhood immunizations.
“It threatens the credibility of MMR and polio and many other vaccines for which it has taken 50 years to build public trust,” he warned.
While the vote does not serve as official policy, the CDC’s recommendations do have a wide influence on how states determine which vaccinations to make mandatory for children to attend school.