News & Politics

Pfizer Says Its COVID-19 Vaccine Is Safe for Kids... So What?

Pfizer Says Its COVID-19 Vaccine Is Safe for Kids... So What?
AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

Pfizer has announced that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and generates a “robust” antibody response in children aged 5-11. This announcement comes days after a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel rejected its COVID-19 booster for people 16 and older, citing increased risk of heart inflammation (myocarditis) for young males linked to the vaccine.

“The company said its data were from a study of 2,200 children who received two doses, three weeks apart,” the Washington Times reports. “Each dose contained about 10 micrograms, or about a third of the dosage for teens and adults.”

Pfizer plans to submit their data to the FDA as soon as possible. More trials and results will be completed and submitted later this year.

“Over the past nine months, hundreds of millions of people ages 12 and older from around the world have received our COVID-19 vaccine,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said. “We are eager to extend the protection afforded by the vaccine to this younger population, subject to regulatory authorization, especially as we track the spread of the delta variant and the substantial threat it poses to children.”

However, with regards to the Pfizer vaccine, Doran Fink, M.D., deputy director of the clinical side of the FDA’s Division of Vaccines and Related Products Applications, said that “when you look at the balances of risk versus benefit, what we really start to see is risk of myocarditis being higher [than COVID-19] is males under age 40.”

But there are other issues than the risk of myocarditis. All of the COVID vaccines have been available for less than a year. While they may be overwhelmingly safe, we have no idea what the long-term impact of these vaccines may be.

With that in mind, there’s very little justification for vaccinating kids in the first place, as the CDC’s own data show that COVID is less deadly than the seasonal flu for kids ages 0-17 years.

According to recent statistics, more kids have been victims of gun violence in Chicago than have died from COVID this year.

Yet teachers’ unions have been using their influence to pressure the Biden administration to change its recommendations.

The CDC also acknowledged back in July that “multiple studies have shown that transmission within school settings is typically lower than — or at least similar to — levels of community transmission when prevention strategies are in place in schools.”  Nevertheless, when the CDC said it was safe for fully vaccinated people to go maskless in most indoor settings, including schools, the teachers’ unions weren’t happy. So they lobbied the CDC to bring back the mask mandate in schools until the COVID vaccines are authorized for kids under 12, despite the data showing that kids aren’t at significant risk for COVID.

Teachers’ unions have had a lot of success exerting their influence to alter the “science” cited by the CDC to make it match what the unions wanted. Some have successfully blocked schools from reopening.

Currently, the CDC recommends universal indoor masking by students older than two years old—regardless of vaccination status. So, unless the CDC bucks the will of teachers’ unions and says vaccinated kids can go maskless, there’s no benefit to getting kids vaccinated with a vaccine we can’t possibly know the long-term effects of yet.

So, as we look at the data, there isn’t much justification for vaccinating kids against COVID in the first place. Not only are kids very resilient to COVID in the first place, but young males appear to have a higher risk of myocarditis from the vaccine. And if schools are universally requiring masks regardless of vaccination status, what’s the point?