Vaccine Decisions Belong to Parents. Period.

by Kerry Dougherty

This creepy promotion ought to make all of us uncomfortable. Pharmaceutical companies should back off any outreach to impressionable children and leave decisions about vaccinations where it belongs: With parents.

Stop trying to brainwash youngsters.

After all, the Pfizer vaccine has only been approved for children five to 11 for less than two weeks. Two senior officials at the FDA resigned in September, reportedly over the pressure that was being put on the agency to get this new and lightly tested vaccine into the arms of very young children.

Look, the decision to vaccinate kids against a disease that statistically poses no danger to them ought to be made by parents. Period. After all, Pfizer can claim the vaccine is safe after running trials on youngsters. But there is no way they can know what the long-term effects may be.

And that ought to be a major concern for the parents of minors with long lives ahead of them.

According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 27% of parents are “eager” to get their 5-11 year olds vaccinated. Another 31% said they will “wait and see” and a full 30% said “never.” Many of these parents were vaccinated themselves, by the way.

They have their reasons for being cautious.

After all, there are more than 28 million American kids in the 5 to 11 age group. According to the CDC, 42% have already had COVID. There were 8,300 children in that age group hospitalized since the beginning of the pandemic and 170 died. That means children have a .00029% chance of being hospitalized with Covid-19 and a .0000067% chance of dying.

I like those odds. If I had a kid in that age group, I’d pass on the vaccine.

For older Americans and those with co-morbidities, the risk/reward evaluation is different. The vaccine is worth the risk of adverse side effects to those who are in danger of becoming severely sick or even dying from COVID.

For most healthy children? Not so much.

The argument being used to get kids vaccinated is that the sooner they get the shots, the sooner we get back to normal.

Gee, where have we heard that before?

We were told the same thing last winter about adults and 10 months into this vaccination rollout it’s clear the vaccines are not as good as advertised. They don’t last and they don’t prevent people from transmitting or catching COVID. At best, they prevent severe illness and hospitalizations — something that is extremely rare in children.

Boosters are already needed and more will be recommended.

This push to vaccinate kids is unsettling. It’s starting to look less like a public health campaign and more like a scheme to enrich the pharmaceutical industry.

The one blessing of COVID-19 is that it has spared the children. So let’s stop with the propaganda — especially aimed at kids — and let parents make decisions that are best for their offspring.

This column has been republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.