It’s been widely reported, as, in the New York Post, an FDA advisory panel has approved a Pfizer vaccine for children 5–11. Less reported has been the abstention of Dr. Michael Kurilla, director of the Division of Clinical Innovation at the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and a member of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.
The Epoch Times reported, “[Dr. Kurilla] did so because of limited safety and efficacy data.” Following a day-long discussion, all 17 other advisors voted for approval, though others also expressed reservations.
In an email, Dr. Kurilla told the Times that “he opposed the specific, binary wording of the question,” allowing “any child between 5 and 11… to get the Pfizer vaccine.” He’s concerned the longest follow-up study has only been for “three months.”
He said children have much less risk of a severe reaction, and “a large chunk of them have already had the disease, giving them some level of immunity.”
With final FDA approval, children would receive two 10-microgram doses each, lower than adults. Dr. Kurilla said, as with adult doses, it’s likely the “effectiveness will also wane in children.”
During the meeting, the panel discussed the 1.9 million infections in this age group, with only 0.4 % requiring hospitalization with only 94 deaths.
They heard 20% of those children were hospitalized for something other than the CCP virus. Also, almost seven out of 10 “had existing serious health conditions like heart disease,” showing “healthy children” are at very low risk from the disease.
So, why the push to get this population vaccinated, especially with 40* of these children, many asymptomatic, having recovered from the virus?
Multiple studies have indicated natural infections provide protection “actually higher than vaccines provide.”
Dr. Kurilla said, “The benefit here is assumed to be prevention of severe disease, which is what we’re all hoping for.” But among those who recover, he added, “The question really becomes, does this vaccine offer any benefits to them at all?”
The doctor explained his abstention. “A ‘no’ vote would have been misconstrued as my opinion about the vaccine.” He feels the distribution calls for a more “tailored approach.”
Dr. Cody Meissner of Tufts Medical Center also expressed concerns. He wondered if some parents were eager to vaccinate their children because “they’re so frightened, perhaps overly so….”
Dr. Meissner said most of the hospitalized children “have underlying comorbidities…. And… 40%… may have immunity already.” He concluded this comes “down to a very small percent of otherwise healthy 6- to 11-year-old children who might derive some benefit.”
Many parents are wondering, with reports children are at a higher risk of health complications from the injection than from the virus itself, is it worth it? And why such pressure to vaccinate all children?
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