Indiscriminate COVID-19 Booster Shots Pose a Potential Risk of Harm To The Subset of Americans With Asymptomatic Infections

The FDA and CDC have been ignoring the reality that indiscriminate vaccination of recently or asymptomatically COVID-19 infected persons has caused totally avoidable harm to a non-negligible number of Americans. Now, CDC has announced a policy of blanket “booster shots” in a subset of vaccine compliant Americans. Using this inadequately calibrated, “one-size-fit-all” approach again, CDC is almost certain to magnify harm to a subset of Americans in whom booster vaccination may be unnecessary or dangerous.

Indiscriminate booster vaccination of “fully vaccinated” Americans, without first establishing “medical necessity” of re-vaccination, and ruling out a concurrent asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection is a dangerous and unethical clinical and public health practice.

Yesterday, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a statement announcing the need for booster vaccinations in already vaccinated Americans.

This decision was made based on the recent recognition that many vaccinated Americans do not seem to be adequately immune, or immune at all, following their vaccination. Of course, this finding is disturbing BUT, it does not mean that when the vaccine actually immunizes the vaccinated, it is not effective.

When the COVID-19 vaccines induce a productive immune response in the recipient, they are highly effective.

In fact, I have repeatedly written and discussed the need for efficient vaccination of UN-IMMUNE Americans. So, I am in full agreement that ANY vaccinated American who is not adequately immune, or has not been immunized by the vaccine, ought to get re-vaccinated to prevent a natural infection.

However, I am vehemently against indiscriminate “one-size-fits-all” vaccination of folks who are already adequately immunized by their vaccination or by a natural infection.

The reason for my dissent against the CDC and FDA’s current approach to COVID-19 vaccination, as an American physician-immunologist, is that I am nearly certain that indiscriminate vaccination of concurrently infected or recently convalescent persons is harmful — or unnecessary in persons with established acquired immunity to COVID-19 from a more remote prior infection.

Back in January of 2021, I issue a vocal warning to the United States Food and Drug Administration and the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, about the danger of indiscriminate “one-size-fits-all” vaccination of Americans who are concurrently infected or recently convalescent.

You may read this letter of warning, which was acknowledged by FDA Commissioner Woodcock, Dr. Peter Marks and Pfizer’s Dr. Bill Gruber, HERE.

In this letter, I warned that indiscriminate vaccination of persons who are concurrently infected or recently convalescent, could do totally avoidable but irreparable harm, or cause deaths, in a minority subset of Americans — specifically by re-activating damaging inflammation in various tissues of such persons.

Despite the FDA and CDC’s concerted efforts to ignore or deny the reality of my prognostication, it is very clear that a minority subset of such Americans have been catastrophically harmed or killed.

I have also argued that, at the very least, indiscriminate vaccination of the hundreds of millions of Americans who have acquired natural immunity to COVID-19 from a prior infection is an unnecessary or marginally beneficial public health practice, with only the potential for harm.

However, despite mounting evidence and clear case reports of avoidably harmed Americans, FDA and CDC leaders remain undeterred in their dangerous indiscriminate vaccination recommendation. Their reasoning being that the majority of Americans stand to gain benefit from immunity.

I fully agree that maximizing population immunity in non-immune Americans, using COVID-19 vaccination is critically important to the health of our nation on the whole.

HOWEVER, I vehemently disagree with the Biden CDC and FDA’s reckless vaccination policy in Americans with pre-existing acquired immunity and recent infections, who stand to gain virtually no benefit from indiscriminate vaccination — this, is dangerous and unethical public health policy being imposed on America by the Biden administration.

Now, as the Biden CDC is poised to offer a third booster shot to already vaccinated Americans, again mindlessly indiscriminately, it is my opinion that a minority subset of Americans are being exposed to a severe and magnifed risk of hazard.

First, the subset of Americans who are already vaccinated will very likely be 100% compliant with the CDC recommendation on booster shots — they believed in the vaccine and the CDC’s word to begin with and they very likely will again. It’s a safe prediction that nearly every one of these previously vaccinated Americans will get re-vaccinated in compliance with CDC guidance. Certainly, the vast majority of them will simply accept their doctors rote adherence to CDC recommendations. So it is likely that the vast majority of the over 150 million Americans already fully vaccinated will get a booster too.

Second, because it is now clear that a significant fraction of vaccinated Americans appear to be sub-optimally immune, or not at all, it appears that many such individuals are being infected by SARS-CoV-2. So-called “Break-through infection” are not a rarity. Moreover, compared to months ago, our national COVID-19 viral load is far greater, so the probability that any given “fully vaccinated” person may be an asymptomatic carrier is also much greater. As I clarify above, it is my severe concern that indiscriminate re-vaccination of such infected persons poses a risk of serious, but totally, avoidable injury and even death to some.

Third, indiscriminately vaccinating already vaccinated persons without screening such persons to assess the extent of their immunity, assumes that all of them are sub-optimally immunized by their vaccination — THIS, is certainly untrue. As with any medical practice, re-vaccinating a fully immunized persons, who was previously fully vaccinated, is a critical error in medical and public policy judgement — because it is a violation of the principle of medical necessity. It is almost certainly true that well over half of the American people, who are “fully vaccinated”, are also “fully immune”. So indiscriminately subjecting these fully immune people to a booster shot WITHOUT assessing the status of their immunity using COVID-19 antibody testing is a dangerous and unethical mistake.

It is my opinion that ANY American who is considering undergoing a booster COVID-19 vaccination ought to do so ONLY after establishment of medical necessity and after ruling out that they are not a concurrently infected with the virus.

Here is my personal recommendation:

If you are a “fully vaccinated” American and are wondering if it is the correct move for you to get a booster vaccine, the best and safest way is to determine: 1) if your COVID-19 antibody levels are low or absent AND 2) if you are an asymptomatic carrier of the COVID-19 virus, using a PCR or rapid Antigen screen.

If your COVID-19 antibody levels are low or absent, please consider getting a booster COVID-19 shot. But if your blood COVID-19 antibody levels remain high (>500X baseline on the Labcorp semi-quantitative Spike Antibody test), there is no need to rush into getting a booster vaccine — this level is comparable to that seen in many fully vaccinated persons. If your antibody levels are low or absent, AND you are NOT concurrently infected with SARS-CoV-2, please consider getting a booster shot ASAP.

I previously labeled this safety approach #ScreenB4Vaccine and have written and talked about it extensively in the press. Please use the Hashtag, #ScreenB4Vaccine to do an internet search and learn more about it.

It is my sincere hope that our public health leaders and president Biden come to their senses and understand the magnified risk of harm the CDC is causing by promoting an indiscriminate approach to booster vaccinations in already “fully vaccinated” Americans — many of whom will certainly be concurrently infected or already fully immune.

I write in defense of US public health and of America herself,

Hooman Noorchashm MD, PhD

noorchashm@gmail.com.

Hooman Noorchashm MD, PhD is a physician-scientist. He is an advocate for ethics, patient safety and women’s health. He and his 6 children live in Pennsylvania.