The FDA approves the vaccine for children. Do not mandate him | Opinion


Before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the vaccine for pregnant women, I received the COVID-19 vaccine six months into my pregnancy. I’ve written about the importance of traditional childhood vaccinations in just about every major publication: The New York Times, The New York Post, and The Washington Post. But, if the government is to impose the COVID-19 vaccine on my children under the new emergency authorization, as many suspect after its approval, they must publicly argue that it is necessary for children as soon as possible. age 5.

The case of adults remains evident, which is why my husband and I were vaccinated as soon as possible. We have friends who have been close to death on ventilators and we know people who have died from the effects of COVID-19.

Fortunately, however, data has shown that young children have reacted very differently to COVID-19. Yes, children can get sick and even die from COVID-19. But, statistically speaking, the risk for children under 10 of developing major complications from COVID-19 is really low. It’s almost nothing.

“Younger children seem to be the most protected against this virus,” according to Camille Sabella, director of the Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Cleveland Clinic. Sabella was comment on a recent CDC analysis which found that children who died from COVID-19 tended to be over 10 years old and had at least one underlying medical condition.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisers on Tuesday voted 17-0 – there was one abstention – in favor of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine recommendation for “emergency clearance” on elderly children from 5 to 11 years old. But, according to a recent CBS News / YouGov poll, only 37% of parents plan to immunize their children immediately.

If more parents like me are persuaded to embark on immunization as part of the emergency approval, the government must give parents the full facts so families can rest assured that the CDC is committed to the issue. best interests of their children. Complete stop.

This will be especially important as all kinds of institutions will inevitably begin to pressure parents to have their children immunized. Last week, in anticipation of vaccine approval, the White House Biden preemptively announced operational preparations to immunize as many American children aged 5 to 11 as possible.

A fact sheet published by the White House Explain,

The potential authorization of the first COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, which is currently under review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), would be a another important step in our efforts to build on this historic progress and protect even more Americans.

In anticipation of the FDA’s October 26 independent advisory committee meeting and the CDC’s independent advisory committee meeting on November 2-3, the Biden administration today announced a plan to ensure that, if a vaccine is licensed for children aged 5 to 11, it is quickly distributed and made available to families in a convenient and equitable manner across the country.

The prior announcement and prior purchase of 65 million doses by the White House gave the impression that the vote was a foregone conclusion; a stamp on a process to determine not only the safety – but also the need – to rapidly immunize millions of primary and middle-aged children.

There is no doubt that the vaccine saved lives and was an absolute medical miracle for those most at risk. But we are entering a new stage in a vaccination campaign, where the cost-benefit analysis is more complicated. Most adults are willing to take known and potentially unknown risks to avoid serious infection with COVID-19.

It’s a slightly different calculation for young children who, because they are young children, have on average a lower risk of not being vaccinated than me, a healthy, fully vaccinated 35-year-old woman. Parents deserve a candid account of the risks of the vaccine and the virus to their children. While trying to decide how best to proceed with our children, we do not deserve the intimidation and condescension that has marked the reluctant adult vaccination campaign among us so far.

Rather, parents deserve a nuanced conversation based on individual and personal situations in millions of homes across America. The math is different for every child: An 11-year-old with diabetes is not at the same risk as a healthy 5-year-old living in a house with other low-risk children and their parents vaccinated. FDA Meeting Report, Katelyn Jetelina Explain, “Two members expressed their frustration with the binary choice: all-or-nothing vaccine for 5-11 year olds. Some asked if they could rephrase the question for specific children, such as obese or immunocompromised. Some have pointed out that 42% of children have natural protection and that vaccines may not help much. “

Each scenario should be analyzed independently and parents should be given the opportunity to make personal calculations without fear of tenure or undue pressure.

Above all, parents need to be able to trust that the authorities that approve these vaccines are deliberating as seriously as they would if they were making medical decisions about their own children. Sadly, many might feel the opposite when concerns about a vaccine-related heart risk emerged for teens, especially teens in late spring and early summer. According to in the New England Journal of Medicine,

On May 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a statement regarding a possible link between vaccination to prevent 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and myocarditis for the BNT162b2 vaccine and mRNA vaccine -1273 (Moderna). On June 2, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Health reported that 148 cases of myocarditis had been identified in Israel between December 2020 and May 2021.

If you thought the CDC met immediately to assess this risk because one more minute could not be wasted when the health and safety of millions of teens were potentially at risk, you would be wrong. They only scheduled a meeting for June 19, which they then rescheduled to June 23, when the Biden administration at the last minute declared June 17 a national holiday.

This does not sound like the actions of a bureaucracy that believes it must earn the trust of American parents. The Biden administration and other government officials (like my Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, whose a message on the issue echoed that of the White House) was fortunate enough to make the vaccination approval process for our youngest children as serious as it should be.

Instead, they moved forward without the transparency and concern that this topic deserves.

There are millions of American parents ready to stand in line on the first day the vaccine is released to their children. There are several million others with a wait-and-see approach or who do not yet intend to vaccinate their children. This is not a traditional debate about immunization with clear risks and benefits; it’s not the MMR for children in 2018, nor is it about vaccinating adults or the elderly against COVID-19. It is much more nuanced. On Twitter, journalist Leah Libresco Sargeant remark, “I wish they could just say, ‘Safe, efficient and discretionary.’ As many parents are waiting to see what happens after approval for emergency vaccine use for their children is approved, that should be the message from public health officials.

Bethany Mandel is a writer for Deseret News, editor-in-chief of, and contributor to the Washington Examiner blog and magazine.


Comments are closed.