The push to require vaccinations for children against a virus that does not significantly threaten them may be only weeks away.
UPDATE: We and @BioNTech_Group officially submitted our request to @US_FDA for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of our #COVID19 vaccine in children 5 to <12. pic.twitter.com/72Z2HXlkOx
— Pfizer Inc. (@pfizer) October 7, 2021
Pfizer has asked the FDA for an Emergency Use Authorization allowing its COVID vaccine to be used on children between the ages of five and eleven.
Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb appeared on Face the Nation and predicted “a vaccine by Halloween.”
According to CNN, the Association of Immunization Managers is very excited about the prospect of helping to “get those first doses into young arms.”
And White House COVID Response Coordinator Jeff Zients says that “we will be ready as soon as the FDA and CDC give the go-ahead.”
Despite misinformation published in outlets like the New York Times, however, COVID does not significantly threaten children.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, though “nearly 5.9 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic,” only about 520 of those cases have died, a number that amounts to 0.01% of all child cases and 0.08% of all COVID-related deaths in the United States.
Similar data is available via the CDC’s Data Catalog.
According to the CDC, about 500 children under the age of 18 have died of COVID-related causes since Jan. 1, 2020, representing 0.01% of all deaths and 0.85% of all child deaths over the same period of time.
Pediatric deaths by state with COVID and from all causes January 1, 2020 to October 2, 2021, as of October 6, 2021 pic.twitter.com/9EauPIIt1z
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) October 7, 2021
The clarity provided by the data, however, has not prevented a misinformation campaign seemingly designed to mandate unnecessary vaccinations for children.
New York Times reporter Apoorva Mandavilli made the fearmongering claims in an Oct. 6 article that “nearly 900,000 children have been hospitalized with Covid-19 since the pandemic began.”
The next day, the following correction appeared:
An earlier version of this article incorrectly described actions taken by regulators in Sweden and Denmark. They have halted use of the Moderna vaccine in children; they have not begun offering single doses. The article also misstated the number of Covid hospitalizations in U.S. children. It is more than 63,000 from August 2020 to October 2021, not 900,000 since the beginning of the pandemic.
NYT had an outstanding, highly experienced COVID reporter, but was fired because he made very rich teenagers unhappy when forced to entertain them on a paid trip.
Now we have an incompetent in his place constantly doing this, or saying it’s racist to investigate COVID origins: https://t.co/iGoCvgP9Jx
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 8, 2021
Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson points out that Pfizer’s clinical trial “showed precisely no evidence of actual health benefit for the children who received it.”
It neither “reduced hospitalizations (which are basically non-existent in healthy children) or even mild cases.”
And yet, according to the Washington Post, the federal government, which has already purchased 65 million doses “will begin pushing out as many as 20 million doses of the Pfizer–BioNTech pediatric vaccine to immunize school-age kids across the United States.”
We can also look forward to a “robust messaging/outreach campaign to encourage vaccination for children” from Health and Human Services and the Education departments.
There will be no shortage of customers.
USA Today reports that “pediatricians and pharmacists are bracing for a crush after the first vaccine maker submitted an application to authorize its COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.”
As they say, the road to “health” is paved with good intentions. The ends justify the means: Get those shots in young arms!