During an appearance on the Fox News Channel Sunday morning, Gov. Ron DeSantis suggested he had not received a COVID-19 booster shot.
DeSantis, for his part, continues to warn that the definition of fully vaccinated will shift to include receiving a booster shot. His latest comments suggest that his “one shot” Johnson and Johnson “jab” from earlier this year was the only vaccination he’s received.
“I’ve done whatever I did, the normal shot, and that at the end of the day is people’s individual decisions about what they want to do,” DeSantis said when he was asked if he had received a booster shot by host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures.
Florida Politics asked DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw about DeSantis’ comments. She responded she is “not able to speak to his private medical decisions.”
The Associated Press reported in April that DeSantis had received the single-dose vaccine. The information was confirmed belatedly by the Governor’s Office. DeSantis did not do a public press event where he got vaccinated, a contrast to many other politicians of both parties.
Critics have contended DeSantis has done little to promote vaccines. But the Governor was consistently enthusiastic about the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, even going so far as to criticize the White House’s messaging against it.
In April, he said President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had personally contributed to vaccine hesitancy by “saying this was a bad vaccine.”
Later that month, the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a temporary pause on the J&J vaccine over limited reports of blood clots in six women in the days after vaccination.
DeSantis acknowledged the need to issue appropriate warnings with vaccines, but criticized the move to “hastily” pause shots.
“That was a very high-demand vaccine prior to that happening,” added the Governor.
DeSantis had praised the J&J “one shot” variation since before its national launch. He heralded the FDA’s preliminary review of the product in February as a “huge, huge win.”
However, all indications are that the J&J vaccine is on the way out. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is mulling a panel’s recommendation to sideline the Johnson & Johnson shot, as blood clot risks continue to be reported.
DeSantis urged boosters of a different sort in January, amid shortages of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. He found himself battling with the Biden White House over decisions to ensure allocations for the second shots for senior citizens, which were the priority population for his administration’s vaccination efforts when shots were first made available.
“While there is talk at the federal level regarding how to distribute vaccine doses and whether booster shots should be ‘held back,’ Florida is committed to the two-dose regimen for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. One dose seems to provide some protection, but the 95 percent efficacy has only been shown to be attained by taking the booster shot. This means that while the manner of distribution may change, the necessity of the booster shot will not. Florida wants all seniors to receive booster shots at the appropriate time,” DeSantis said.
Jason Delgado and Renzo Downey contributed reporting.