Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said that getting a COVID booster increases one’s risk of contracting COVID-19 while campaigning in New Hampshire on Wednesday.
Speaking to voters ahead of next week’s Republican primary in the state, the presidential hopeful said that “now every booster you take, you’re more likely to get COVID.”
DeSantis’ claim is not true: The COVID booster is approximately 30% effective in blocking infection, and it’s unclear where DeSantis came up with the notion.
“They lied to us about the COVID shots, remember?” DeSantis says in a video from the Recount. “They said ‘If you take a COVID shot, you will not get COVID?’ How true was that? Not at all!”
This isn’t the first time that DeSantis, who says that booster shots are neither safe nor effective, has made the claim that the shots increase the likelihood of contracting COVID.
In January 2023, he said “with these new boosters, you’re more likely to get infected with the bivalent booster,” at a Florida press conference.
Though the Florida governor has warned against getting COVID boosters, the state population is just as vaccinated as that of Illinois, a stronghold blue state: Over 70% of both state populations are “fully vaccinated” against the virus, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
Many voters were disappointed in DeSantis’ claim, including those in New Hampshire.
“He lost my family yesterday when he said you could get Covid easier by getting boosted,” a New Hampshire voter tweeted. “That antiscience bologna doesn’t fly in New Hampshire.”
Others online similarly criticized the claim.
DeSantis is currently polling in 3rd place in New Hampshire, behind former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, after finishing second in Iowa.