Will children be required to be vaccinated against COVID?
With the announcement that the Biden administration has purchased 65 million doses of pediatric vaccine from Pfizer, an urgent question arises: Will children be forced to be vaccinated against COVID?
The vaccine was neither approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nor recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for pediatric use when the administration made its purchase. Meanwhile, states are already developing policies regarding childhood immunizations.
Earlier this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that California would add the COVID vaccine to the list of vaccines children need to receive to go to school. Over the weekend, New York Governor Kathy Hochul was asked if she would make a similar demand. She defended herself by saying, “I’m going to pass judgment on this same issue now. I want to make sure everyone is doing the right thing. They have the tools they need, they have the vaccines, but if it turns out that we are seeing an increase in cases and people are not complying … I will keep all options on the table. “
But the issue of vaccination of young children is very complicated. There is no strong evidence that children need the vaccine. Days after Governor Newsom announced the mandate, news broke that his 12-year-old daughter, who is already eligible for the vaccine, had yet to be vaccinated. It is not as simple a decision as the governor might have it believe.
Several countries in Europe only offer one injection to adolescents, an option that is not offered to American parents and that is not considered a “complete” vaccination when it comes to entering the clinic. spaces with vaccination mandates, such as restaurants or museums in New York and Los Angeles.
Europe has treated children very differently throughout the pandemic than America. Schools were a priority for the opening and many places did not require children under 11 or 12 to wear masks. In America, masking starts at 2.
To enter Iceland, for example, adults need a COVID test while children do not. They are simply not seen as a risk or a risk.
It remains to be seen whether some European countries will vaccinate the little ones.
And while much of the conversation over the past few months has revolved around whether people are pro or anti-vaccine, kids are in a whole different category. Studies keep showing that unvaccinated children have a lower risk of death from COVID than even fully vaccinated adults of any age. I stay very much in the pro-vax category for adults, but I don’t have a plan to vaccinate my grandchildren.
When the vaccines came out, my priority was to put them in the arms of my mother and my in-laws. I would search all day to make appointments for them. After they had their jabs, my husband and I had ours. If COVID-19 were as deadly to children as it was to adults, or even from a distance, children would have been given priority for the shots. I believe the vaccine is safe. I don’t think the vaccine is necessary for children.
Unfortunately, many health agencies were politicized during the Biden presidency. A study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health published in May found that only 52% of Americans have “great confidence” in the CDC. That number is 37% for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the FDA.
It’s easy to see why. The COVID-19 era has not been a particularly good time for these institutions.
Last year, the CDC adjusted its guidelines for opening schools based on the wishes of teachers’ unions. NIH’s Dr Anthony Fauci argued that the stimulus bill needed to be passed for schools to open. Schools were, of course, already open in much of the country, but most remained closed in Democratic areas under the influence of teachers’ unions. It wasn’t science, it was politics.
In July, David Zweig wrote a very clever article on Wired.com outlining how the CDC had covered the risk of post-vaccination myocarditis in adolescents. Zweig quoted CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky as saying that “the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the damage.” Certainly, the risk of vaccine-related myocarditis is extremely low (less than 0.01%, according to Walensky). But the risk of COVID among young people is also very low.
And in particular, as Zweig points out, the rate in adolescent boys after vaccination is seven times higher than in girls. Walensky had combined the sexes and obtained a lower risk number. How can parents trust this politicized organization to tell the truth about childhood vaccines when its leaders have already lied?
The Biden administration is doing nothing to mend this broken trust. Instead of convincing Americans to take the COVID-19 vaccine, he tried to force them to do so under the threat of taking away their livelihoods. American parents are right to fear that these same mandates will be applied to schooling. Scientists claiming that herd immunity is largely ruled out when it comes to COVID, whether or not to vaccinate a child should remain the prerogative of parents.
Karol Markowicz is a reporter and columnist for the New York Post.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.