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The Great Booster Bust

COVID booster shots

Despite eschewing much of social media, television, and trendy media stories, I still couldn’t avoid major mainstream news reports in 2021 and 2022 covering entertainment news about gormless Hollywood/social media types and political officials (who increasingly seem to preen about like Hollywood entertainers) making embarrassing spectacles of themselves getting their mRNA shots and/or gushing online about it afterward with “vaxxies” (an amalgamation of words “vaccine” and “selfies”). Sometimes they even called for the press to witness them getting mRNA injections—and of course, the press always came.

Are Americans Reticent to Get 2023 mRNA ‘Boosters’? If So, Why?

Initial mRNA shots from Pfizer were granted emergency-use authorization by the FDA on December 11, 2020, and authorization of Moderna’s version quickly followed on December 18. Americans immediately and eagerly lined up for their shots, encouraged by politicians and celebrities.

Unlike then, why aren’t we seeing pictures of people waiting in line for hours alongside pictures of celebrities gleefully posing in a sea of flashbulbs for fall 2023 mRNA shots? What is different this time around? Could it be that previous incentives, motivation, or clinical claims that existed then don’t exist now? Were those incentives and the subsequent enthusiasm contrived? Is it because earlier monovalent/bivalent COVID-19 shots did not live up to their promises?

Not Just mRNA; Americans Don’t Seem to Want Any ‘Vaccines’ in 2023. Why?

According to an October 24th Politico Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System article— almost two months after the 2023 updated Covid-19 boosters were authorized—only a mere 3.6 percent of Americans have gotten their updated shot.

Only about 4.8 percent have gotten the influenza vaccine; so, it seems they just aren’t disinterested in COVID-19 mRNA shots. According to the CDC and FDA, flu vaccines are supposed to all be administered prior to Oct. 31. It is presumed that the fall deadline would be the same for COVID-19 shots as well, in sync with fall weather. After all, both influenza and COVID are respiratory diseases spread via airborne droplet transmission. Plus, with Covid’s high rate of mutation, mRNA shots would have to be given as quickly as possible, lest they become irrelevant to mutations.

How quickly? Researchers from the Universities of Bath and Edinburgh have published findings showing that COVID mutates as quickly as every two weeks. That is faster than influenza, potentially making COVID vaccines irrelevant faster than influenza vaccines, hence making the now expired Oct. 31st deadline critically important—not just for influenza—but for COVID as well.

Despite those low numbers, the CDC called the ~3.6 percent Covid-19 compliance figure “on track” …which isn’t really accurate. And the flu vaccine’s 4.8 percent compliance rate a week ahead of an Oct. 31 deadline is not “on track” either. This is a noteworthy aberration from historical data illustrating around 50 percent of all Americans typically receive flu vaccines each year.

Not to be outdone by consumer hesitancy, rather than making an effort to be transparent and put consumers’ minds at ease with an abundance of safety data, Pfizer is instead currently in late-stage testing of a combination influenza/COVID-19 mRNA injection after the FDA awarded it the highly coveted “fast track” review status in late 2022. Does that mean that in the future, consumers may not have the choice to just get an influenza vaccine without an mRNA COVID-19 shot?

“On Track…?” October 24, 2023 headline from Politico. (note sub-headline as well) 

Who Makes the Recommendations and on What Scientific Bases?

While the FDA evaluates the actual COVID-19 shot approval/authorization, the CDC sets recommendations of when and who should get them. Despite epidemiology stating otherwise, especially in kids, the CDC recommends that everyone six months and older receive an updated 2023 mRNA COVID-19 shot.

Recommendations need justification. So where is the CDC’s big data set scientifically, immunologically, and epidemiologically justifying that everyone six months and older is what is most appropriate? Could that lack of evidence explain why not everyone seems to be taking their CDC marching instructions as before? Could it be that the CDC is losing its authority with Americans because they, too, have an abundance of unanswered questions over the mRNA technology and want more transparency from Big Pharma and the federal government?

Despite Lack of 2023 Boosters, No Widespread Pandemic Appears to be Taking Place

Even prior to the release of newest COVID-19 shots on August 31st 2023, numbers were already fairly low. Despite the White House-predicted “seasonal surge” that doesn’t seem to be happening. CDC data tracker reports that only 9 percent of those tested are positive for COVID (and trending downwards) and only 1.2 percent of emergency department visits (and falling) are diagnosed with COVID.

Hospitalizations are not surging with only 2.5 percent of deaths are due to COVID—but both hospitalization and death figures are non-specific as reported in this format. That’s because we don’t know age, non-COVID coadmission diagnoses, underlying comorbidities, dying “with COVID” versus “because of COVID” hospital-specific reporting/evaluation criteria, et cetera.

Previous or current COVID shot(s) history is not provided but would also have been important to consider as well:

Screens screenshot of a medical report Description automatically generated
Latest available CDC website data read “October 28, 2023” as of November 6, 2023. The regular updates specified in the image header are not taking place.   

Is the Lack of Celebrity Following Trickling Down to a Lack of Public Acceptance?

Whatever the reason, enthusiasm for boosters seems much lower this time. Other than President Joe Biden, and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, few other politicians or celebrities are bloviating about getting new injections.

Perhaps celebrities and politicians are all just quietly, privately, quietly getting them, but why are they subdued about it this time? It’s out of character for that attention-hungry demographic.

If they are choosing not to get updated 2023 COVID shots, I’d like to know: Has something changed their minds? If so, what?

Could it be at least in part because initial shots were authorized over a 9-month timeline when all other vaccines took around a decade? Or could it be that the shots have resulted in an abundance of reported safety concerns, in both the CDC’s V-safe database as well as in FDA’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, which let the public report adverse effects after receiving a vaccine?

Is There a Lack of Clarity on What Constitutes “Safe and Effective” to the Point That Even Liberal Hollywood Won’t Follow the White House?

Investigational medicine scientists like myself have all heard officials state over and over again that “correlation is not causation.” But does that mean regulators and manufacturers should just continue to deliberately ignore more than 987,000 adverse event reports from COVID-19 shots in the US alone, especially when it has been shown that vaccine adverse event numbers are underreported by massive (over 95 percent) margins, according to a recent government-funded Harvard study?

Maybe safety skepticism isn’t being brushed off by celebrities and politicians and their receptive followers. Of note, epidemiologists that the New York Times interviewed have already “fact-checked” and declared that “there isn’t much evidence proving that [celebrities] boost vaccine uptake [in their admirers]” but that’s likely debatable. After all, absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence—a phrase that the Times has quoted multiple times, along with government agencies, including the FDA.

Plus, if “there isn’t much evidence” then why did the White House use its time and efforts to enlist an army of social media influencers to promote vaccines in 2021 and 2022? Why did Pfizer do the same?

A list of examples may be found at the end of this article.

With So Little Interest, Why is the White House Still Buying Tens of Millions of Injections and Tests?

If people don’t seem interested in getting 2023 boosters, then why does the White House keep buying them? Interest in mRNA shots started waning back in 2022, forcing the government to waste 82 million vaccine doses when they expired in pharmacies. Back then, each dose cost between $25-$30, so somewhere between $2 and $2.5 billion was tossed out.

On a side note, 2023 boosters are costing taxpayers three times what they cost in previous years, at $80-$85 per dose. Likewise, Paxlovid is more than doubling in price. Perhaps the price increase is just one manufacturer’s way of saying “thanks” to the American taxpayers and White House for funding their research via Operation Warp Speed, and the over 10 billion they received for Paxlovid and the tens of billions they have already received for mRNA shots.

And there’s more waste: Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services has provided $600 million in taxpayer funding so that every American household can also request up to four COVID-19 tests, “for free” despite a lack of a widespread infection. It also ignores prior statements by the FDA stating that those tests can be inaccurate and are not adequately regulated.

The White House isn’t listening to epidemiology or Americans’ disinterest and is proceeding full speed ahead by purchasing more shots and tests that are likely to go unused and expire or become unusable due to COVID-19 mutations.

The remarkably low inoculation rate could be illustrative of the fact that Americans no longer trust federal or HHS officials’ recommendations for COVID-19 shots.

Even the Joint Commission which gives hospitals and other healthcare organizations accreditation has instructed its surveyors to stop evaluating healthcare workers’ compliance with Covid-19 vaccination. I’d love to know: what exactly guided their decision in 2023 versus that of 2021 and 2022?

In summary, and to answer the initial question asked at the beginning of this piece: What has changed in fall 2023 from when mRNA shots were released around three years ago?

Americans are thoughtful people and don’t like secrets, bullies or mandates, especially when it comes to their own bodies. Americans aren’t blindly taking orders by the federal government any longer. Even the Hollywood dreadfuls—the jackpot of liberal mentality—don’t seem to be following along anymore.

If celebrities and politicians are getting boosted, why aren’t they going in front of the camera mugging, gloating, and grinning (behind their masks, of course) for the public to see this time around?

The unusually low uptake of vaccines in 2023 also indicates that America’s public health agencies likely aren’t doing their jobs in several regards, namely in the form of transparently backing their public health decisions with cold, hard epidemiologic, pharmacologic safety and scientific justification. After all, wouldn’t Americans all rally around a transparently, legitimately proven safe and effective vaccine …maybe even taking pictures taken on their own volition, WITHOUT having to be pressured into doing so by a White House-hired legion of celebrities?

Americans can read between the lines and are showing their distrust even if they aren’t outright saying it out loud. What additional proof do they need when even pliant, follow-the-leader celebrities and politicians seem to be ignoring CDC, FDA, and White House recommendations for influenza and COVID-19 “vaccines?”

To that end, here is a list of just some examples of the absurd muggings by politicians and celebrities that were ubiquitous but have now gone from sight. I have included the title plus full link such that in the event that these articles mysteriously disappear from the internet in the future, they can be searched for on websites like the Wayback Machine or other archival websites:

Luxxle search engine was used to generate these results:

Hollywood Celebrity Compliance: (Circa 2021 and 2022, but NOT 2023)

Every Celebrity Vaccine Selfie, Ranked From Worst to Best

People Magazine’s Celebrities and Politicians Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine: See the Photos

Coronavirus Vaccine: All the Celebrities and Public Figures Who Have Received It So Far

CBS Good Morning: Celebrities are Posing for Vaccine Selfies, or “Vaxxies” to Encourage Vaccinations

Celebs Recognize Importance of COVID-19 Vaccine at 73rd Emmys

All the Celebrities Who Have Received the COVID-19 Vaccine

US Magazine: Celebrity Kids Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine: See the Photos

Britney Spears Takes to Instagram After Getting the Vaccine

Amy Schumer Chronicled Her Vaccine Experience, Even Wearing “Her Nicest” Sparkling Mini-Dress with a Cutout Hole in the Arm to Mark the Occasion

Ariana Grande and the Instagram Celebs Telling Their Fans to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively Are Loving Vaccinated Life!

Pfizer Uses Star Power to Emphasize Risk Factors and COVID in Latest Vaccine Ad Push

Hollywood Politician Compliance: (Circa 2020 – 2022, but NOT 2023)

CNN: Photos of Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell Vaccinated (December 18, 2020) 

NYT VIDEO: Kamala Harris Receives Covid-19 Vaccine (December 29, 2020)

Biden Gets 2nd Dose of Vaccine (January 11, 2021)

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla Getting mRNA Booster (March 10, 2021)

CNN: Dr. Fauci Gets His Booster Shot LIVE on The Late Show

Biden Administration to Use Celebrities, Athletes in Campaign to Combat Covid Vaccine Hesitancy


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This article was originally published by the Brownstone Institute. Dr. David Gortler is a pharmacologist, pharmacist, research scientist and a former member of the FDA Senior Executive Leadership Team who served as senior advisor to the FDA Commissioner on matters of: FDA regulatory affairs, drug safety and FDA science policy. He is a former Yale University and Georgetown University didactic professor of pharmacology and biotechnology, with over a decade of academic pedagogy and bench research, as part of his nearly two decades of experience in drug development. He also serves as a scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center

6 Responses

  1. 3 Reason why less boosters.
    1. Less fear. Most people already survive COVID,. new COVID strain is less harmful.
    2. Vaccine ineffective in reduce COVID infection, transmission, death. people know the vaccine didn’t work as promised .
    3. Vaccine harmful. vaccine cause pain, injury, death.

  2. Over 5 billion people took the first mRNA injections so the damage has been done. The use of all vaccines should be questioned especially in newborns and young children.

  3. I haven’t had a vaccine since terrible reactions to the OPV and Tetanus shot in 1963. Those eventually led to all 6 of my autoimmune diseases, in the past 60 years. Not only that I have suffered 5 strokes due to pharmaceuticals, two pelvic prolapses, neuropathy, and brain damage due to contact with Fluoroquinolones. Our modern day pharmacy industry is horrifyingly criminal and is nothing more than a cartel to do harm and murder. Due to childhood vaccines three of my children were harmed and a 4th died. I will never trust this damnedable industry ever!!

  4. Would love to know how many celebrities have received the covid injection and either died or developed an injury? That would be a revelation!!

    1. Gina – You may want to subscribe to propaganda expert, Mark Crispin Miller’s, Substack posts tracking “people who died suddenly.”

      Today’s post: “Pope hospitalized with lung inflammation; Stephen Colbert’s appendix bursts; Ozzy Osbourne reveals spinal tumor; Cher’s look worries fans (“She can’t even walk”); Jamie Foxx is still struggling.”

      https://markcrispinmiller.substack.com/

  5. That was a fun article and thanks for the luxxle link, that looks a lot better than google. People whom look to hollywood celebrities for life advisement need committed to the loony bin with haste. The entire event was a fraud from the start, game over. When do the mass arrests of corrupt fdc nih and medical industrial complex persons start? Most of those rich people would not have taken this if they had to shell out the money from their own pockets. The worst part is your tax dollars funded just about every one of those selfies. The entire world went mad all at once, but one at a time, we’re bringing them back. They should not breed though, because the vaccine has caused genetic mutations. Covid kids are scary.

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