What’s the rationale for vaccinating children for COVID-19? Where’s the data, the science that would support this move? We see none, and we think it’s dangerous.
Why would there be a push to vaccinate 6-month-old babies or 10-year-old children via an experimental vaccine that delivers genetic code into your cells instructing it to produce a portion of the virus (the ‘S’ or Spike protein), yet with no safety data and based on trials that didn’t run to the required duration to adequately assess the safety of the vaccine?
Why put our children at undue risk when they can be allowed to be infected naturally and harmlessly as part of day-to-day living, by mingling?
This is illogical, irrational, unsound, and, we argue, an absurd position of experts who should know better.
What Is the Risk?
There’s no basis for vaccinating children from COVID-19 as is being suggested by Dr. Fauci (from 6 months to 11 years old). Children are at very low risk of illness, especially severe illness from COVID-19, and children do not spread the illness. The most updated data from the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that “Children were 0.00 percent–0.19 percent of all COVID-19 deaths, and 10 [U.S.] states reported zero child deaths. In states reporting, 0.00 percent–0.03 percent of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in death.”
As another example, a high-quality robust study in the French Alps examined the spread of the SAR-CoV-2 virus via a cluster of COVID-19 cases. They followed one infected child who visited three different schools and interacted with other children, teachers, and various adults. They reported no instances of secondary transmission despite close interactions. These data have been available to the CDC and other health experts for over a year.
Swedish researchers published a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine in January 2021 on COVID-19 among children 1 to 16 years of age and their teachers in Sweden. From the nearly 2 million children in school in Sweden, it was reported that with no mask mandates, there were zero deaths from COVID-19 and a few instances of transmission and minimal hospitalization.
A study published in Nature found no instances of asymptomatic spread from positive asymptomatic cases among all 1,174 close contacts of the cases, based on a base sample of 10 million people. The World Health Organization (WHO) also made this claim that asymptomatic spread/transmission is rare. This issue of asymptomatic spread is the key issue being used to force vaccination in children. The science, however, remains contrary to this proposed policy mandate.
Not only is there an absence of evidence supporting the notion that children spread the virus in any meaningful way and thus the necessity to vaccinate, there’s also direct evidence showing that they simply do not spread this virus/disease. This has been shown in school settings and as published in other papers.
Children typically, if infected, have asymptomatic illness. It’s well-noted that asymptomatic cases are not the drivers of the pandemic. In this regard it’s evident that children are not the key drivers of SARS-CoV-2 infection, unlike how they are the drivers of seasonal influenza.
In the rare cases where a child is infected with SARS-CoV-2, it’s exceptionally rare for the child to get severely ill or die. And to reiterate, teachers are not at risk of transmission from children (it’s the other way around).
The pediatric literature suggests that this is now settled science as to the very low or exceedingly rare risk (near zero) for children.
Risks Versus Benefits
Children should not be carte blanche subjected to the same policies as adults without careful examination of the benefits versus the risks. Of course, zero risk is not attainable—with or without mask mandates, lockdowns, vaccines, therapeutics, distancing, or anything else medicine may develop or government agencies may impose.
For nearly all children under 20 years of age, the risks from getting COVID-19 are exceedingly small, and for children the risk of death is basically near zero (pdf)— it’s the closest to zero we can get to. So the cost-benefit argument against using an essentially untested vaccine is heavily in favor of risk and virtually no benefit.
The potential risk of unknown and serious side effects from the brand-new and barely tested vaccines are—in truth—completely unknown. That’s because it’s almost unheard of for a vaccine to be released to the public this quickly. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get the vaccine.
We’re certainly not anti-vaxxers and certainly children should receive their measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines among others, as these have had a dramatic effect on morbidity and mortality for decades. For populations where the risk of death or serious illness from COVID-19 is substantial—middle-aged and older adults or individuals with other chronic medical vulnerabilities such as serious respiratory, cardiac, or immunological problems—using a new and barely tested vaccine is not only reasonable, it may and can be the most prudent and responsible thing to do.
Inexplicably, there has been a recent flurry of statements supporting the vaccination of children. Of course, this also means that the experimental vaccines must be tested in children prior to mass introduction and use.
Moderna Inc. has recently announced that it’s beginning an mRNA vaccine study on children 6 months to 11 years in the United States and Canada, in the latest effort to broaden the mass-vaccination campaign beyond adults.
“This pediatric study will help us assess the potential safety and immunogenicity of our Covid-19 vaccine candidate in this important younger age population,” Moderna Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel has stated. On the basis of the literature we’ve discussed here, it’s clear that his statement is patently false. Alarmingly, we have come to learn that dosing has already been started by Moderna.
This really is a question of risk-management, and parents must seriously consider that COVID-19 is a far less dangerous illness for children than influenza. Parents must be brave and be willing to assess this purely from a benefit versus risk position and ask themselves, “If my child has little if any risk, near zero risk of severe sequelae or death, and thus no benefit from the vaccine, yet there could be potential harms and as yet unknown harms from the vaccine (as already reported in adults who have received the vaccines), then why would I subject my child to such a vaccine?”
A Call for Caution
We also write this as a call for caution. This really is about risk management decisions we as free people, and as parents, are allowed to make in the United States. Remember, also, young children can’t give proper informed consent. This is an important ethical matter.
The death rate in children under 12 is as close to zero as we can get. We have masked our children, closed schools, locked them down, and driven surges in suicides in adults as well as our children due to these policies, and now we seek to vaccinate children with an experimental vaccine for which we have no data on the long-term harms. This is very unsafe in our opinion.
It’s not even about if they show that the vaccine is safe for kids; the issue is there’s no basis for it. The CDC and experts like Dr. Fauci, in our opinion, have been wrong on lockdowns, school closures, mask mandates, and other restrictions. They have all created an utter mess for our societies as we begin emerging from the pain of the punitive unsound lockdowns and school closures.
Parents must now step up and demand that health officials and vaccine developers (and any entity with interests in the development of these vaccines) make their case for vaccinating their children. Do not simply accept this, for there’s no credible reason for it. Force these people to make their case, and if they can’t, if in your own risk-management assessment it doesn’t make sense, then don’t do it. It’s not like buying a pair of shoes for them. They could be left with a lifetime of severe illness and disability and even death if something goes wrong.
We haven’t done the safety testing nor will any proposed study be able to collect that data for the time period it’s needed. Sample size can never compensate for time. Remember the disaster with the polio vaccine in 1955 and the Cutter incident; remember the dengue vaccine in 2017 (Dengvaxia) and the dangerous plasma leakage syndrome where the vaccine posed a risk for those children without prior infection; remember the H1N1 2009 vaccine and narcolepsy; remember the vaccine for RSV in the 1960s; remember the measles vaccine in the 1960s and the impact on children; remember the 1977 DPT vaccine, and so on.
Furthermore, it’s nonsensical to suggest that the virus “variants” may drive infection in children and harm them, and there’s no basis for such a statement. For those who are trying to frighten parents with the illogical and absurd statements that a lethal strain may emerge among the variants, then we argue that you are using terms like “may” and “could” and “might.” We can find no evidence to support such claims. It’s simply rampant speculation!
Making such claims is not science, and decisions based on such claims are not evidence-based. We need to see the actual science and not just rampant speculation by often nonsensical media medical experts.
Alarmingly, evidence is accumulating that the spike protein itself may be pathogenic and deadly on its own, and we’re concerned by the implication of this given we’re injecting the full spike or mRNA to code for it.
Dr. Patrick Whelan, a UCLA pediatrician, shares our grave concerns and writes, “I am concerned about the possibility that the new vaccines aimed at creating immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (including the mRNA vaccines of Moderna and Pfizer) have the potential to cause microvascular injury to the brain, heart, liver and kidneys in a way that is not currently being assessed in safety trials of these drugs.”
Whelan states in his December 2020 letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “Before any of these vaccines are approved for widespread use in humans, it is important to assess in vaccinated subjects the effects of vaccination on the heart. … Vaccinated patients could also be tested for distant tissue damage in deltoid area skin biopsies. … As important as it is to quickly arrest the spread of the virus by immunizing the population, it would be worse if hundreds of millions of people were to suffer long-lasting damage to their brain or heart microvasculature as a result of failing to appreciate in the short-term an unintended effect of full-length spike protein-based vaccines on these other organs.”
The Way Forward
Children should live normally, and if exposed to SARS-CoV-2, we can rest assured that in the vast majority of cases, they will have no to only mild symptoms while at the same time developing naturally acquired immunity—an immunity that is definitely superior to that which might be caused by a vaccine. This approach would also accelerate the development of the much-needed herd immunity about which much has been written.
Allow child-to-child daily interaction. Harmless and natural exposure. Not only will that drive the adaptive immunity but it will give the children a more robust defense against any mutant variants of the virus itself. This will also allow our children’s immune systems to be taxed and tuned up daily, as opposed to the weakening we are subjecting them to with the year-long lockdowns and school closures.
We do it while at the same time strongly protecting the elderly who are frail, the elderly in general, and those with comorbid conditions and obese individuals. We must use stringent protections of our nursing homes and other similar congregated settings (including the staff, who remain often the source of the infection). It’s better science to use a more “focused” protection and targeting that’s based on age and known risk factors, especially regarding the children.
We ask the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) and other governmental agency spokespersons give clarity to this burgeoning societal risk. We ask that testing of the vaccines in children be halted post-haste. This is based not only on putative risks associated with mass vaccination but even more specifically because, and as we have said, children simply don’t need a vaccine for COVID-19.
Further, we request that governmental agencies elucidate the risk-benefits of such vaccines to children before proceeding to another “emergency use authorization” of vaccines in this population.
In closing, we remain skeptical about the safety of the currently administered vaccines in general, since the FDA issued an emergency use authorization and didn’t apply the needed full regulatory Biologics License Applications approval. This continues to concern us greatly, since the safety component has not been fully assessed and essentially means that all persons taking COVID-19 vaccines at present are in a large Phase III trial.
The efficacy and safety results will be known in two to three years, and perhaps longer for the longer-term adverse effects that become known at a later date.
Exposing children to an untested emergency use medication implies that there’s a dire risk to the children without it. There’s no data to support such a potential risk, and for any medical expert to imply otherwise is duplicitous. It’s time government agencies and their medical experts stop spinning the information and come clean with the public, especially when it comes to our children.
If there’s a credible basis, if there’s evidence, then bring the evidence and let us have a look at it, but until then, please, we ask you, to leave our children alone.
Dr. Paul Elias Alexander, Ph.D., has extensive training in evidence-based medicine and clinical epidemiology as well as being a research methodologist. He has graduate schooling at Oxford in the UK, the University of Toronto, McMaster in Hamilton, Ontario, and some training in the epidemiology of bioterrorism at Johns Hopkins under Dr. Donald Henderson (who eradicated small pox).
Howard Tenenbaum, DDS, Ph.D., is the dentist-in-chief at Mount Sinai, as well as head of the division of research at the hospital’s dentistry department.
Parvez Dara, M.D., MBA, is an oncologist in Toms River, New Jersey. He received his medical degree from King Edward Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.