Doctors in a roundtable discussion hosted by Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) advocate vaccinating children against COVID-19 but don’t recommend mandates.
Parents wondering if their child should get a COVID-19 vaccine should ask themselves two questions, said Dr. Joseph Fraiman, an emergency medicine physician.
“The first thing that you want to [ask] for harm/benefit analysis: is there a mortality benefit for these vaccines for your child,” Fraiman said during the March 7 DeSantis roundtable discussion. Experts claim children are at much lower risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19 compared to other age groups, according to a report in The Epoch Times.
The second question Fraiman said parents should ask is: what are the adverse effects from infection versus the vaccine for healthy children.
Fraiman is also a clinical scientist focused on analyzing methodology and interpreting risk/benefit analysis of clinical studies, the Times report noted.
“The majority of studies haven’t been able to find a single healthy child who’s died from COVID,” said Fraiman, adding that studies that say they have found them can’t confirm that the deceased were healthy children.”
Parents of children with underlying health conditions that may make them at risk for COVID-19 should discuss that with their pediatrician, he cautioned.
“But if you have a healthy child, the chances of that child dying are incredibly low, essentially close to zero, if not actually zero,” Fraiman said.
Only 894 children, out of approximately 73 million children under 18 in the United States, have died of or with COVID-19 as of March 9, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics. The Times report noted there were 72,781 deaths from all causes within the same timeframe for this age group.
COVID-19 is usually mild for most children so it is important to ensure vaccine benefits outweigh the risks.
Most American children get mild-to-no COVID-19 symptoms but some experience symptoms of long COVID or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) several weeks after infection, according to the Times report, which added that is very rare.
Doctors reportedly said MIS-C is treatable and many children make a full recovery, including those with long COVID.
Myocarditis from vaccination, especially in young males ages 12 to 24, following the second dose of the mRNA injection, prompted the Food and Drug Administration to add a warning about the heart condition to the fact sheet for both COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, in June. Federal health authorities still recommend the vaccine, arguing benefits outweigh any risks.
Martin Kulldorf was a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He reportedly said it is “unethical to mandate” vaccines for children with the risks of myocarditis and other future adverse reactions.
“We know that there’s a risk of myocarditis, especially for young boys and young men, but also for girls,” Kulldorf reportedly said. “There might be other adverse reactions that we don’t know about yet … and we don’t know what the risk-benefit ratio is.”
“I think, under those circumstances, it’s unethical to mandate vaccinations for children.”
The mRNA vaccine technology pioneer Dr. Robert Malone said there is no reason to vaccinate children during the roundtable discussion he and Kulldorf also participated in.
“There is no justification for mandating vaccines for children, full stop,” Malone said. “We’re of the strong opinion that if there is risk, there must be choice. This is fundamental medical bioethics one on one.”
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.