As we noted the other day, parents with young children (between the ages of 5 to 11), who have just been approved to receive the COVID vaccine, are increasingly worried about side effects for children.
Unfortunately, the pressure on those parents is about to be turned up to '11'...
First lady Jill Biden and Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy are set to visit the Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia, on Monday to launch a nationwide campaign to promote pediatric vaccinations, per AP.
The school, which is well known as a top public high school in the Greater DC Area, was the first to administer the polio vaccine in 1954. Meanwhile, President Biden is planning to visit more pediatric vaccine sites across the country.
Meanwhile, at the same time, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona are sending a letter to school districts across the country calling on them to organize vaccine clinics for their newly eligible students. The officials are reminding school districts that they can tap billions of dollars in federal coronavirus relief money to support pediatric vaccination efforts.
The Biden administration is providing local school districts with tools to help them partner with pharmacies, or simply administer the shots themselves. And it's asking schools to share information on the benefits of vaccines and details about the vaccination process with parents, in an effort to combat disinformation surrounding the shots.
The White House is encouraging schools to host community conversations and share resources like vaccine fact sheets. It's also working with the American Academy of Pediatrics to partner local physicians who can work with schools aiming to share science-based information about the shots.
If there is any possible relief from the pressure-to-jab, Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Dr. Nicole Saphier, an assistant professor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College, address the question of whether you should vaccinate your 5-year-old in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
There answer is perhaps reassuring: Be reassured that whatever you do, the risk is extremely low.
Here are the numbers...
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 42% of U.S. children 5 to 11 had Covid by June 2021, before the Delta wave - a prevalence that is likely greater than 50% today. Of 28 million children in that age range, 94 have died of Covid since the pandemic began (including deaths before newer treatments), and 562 have been hospitalized with Covid infections.
Additionally, Saphier and Makary note that, just as with adults, pediatric COVID deaths and hospitalizations tend to come among those with comorbidities.
Crucially though, Saphier and Makary note that if a child already had Covid, there’s no scientific basis for vaccination.
Deep within the 80-page Pfizer report is this crucial line:
“No cases of COVID-19 were observed in either the vaccine group or the placebo group in participants with evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
That’s consistent with the largest population-based study on the topic, which found that natural immunity was 27 times as effective as vaccinated immunity in preventing symptomatic Covid.
Natural immunity is likely even more robust in children, given their stronger immune systems.
An indiscriminate Covid vaccine mandate may result in unintended harm among children with natural immunity.