Get your children vaccinated for COVID.
But there are growing doubts as to whether all children need the COVID vaccines, including uncertainty from Johns Hopkins faculty member Marty Makary.
In an Op-Ed last week for The Wall Street Journal, Makary wrote that he and a research team reviewed about 48,000 cases of children under 18 reported to have COVID between April and August of last year.
“Our report found a mortality rate of zero among children without a pre-existing medical condition such as leukemia,” he added.
Got that? Among that sample, no individuals under 18 without pre-existing conditions died of COVID.
Overall, the CDC has reported that 335 children with a COVID diagnosis have died.
“Yet the CDC, which has 21,000 employees, hasn’t researched each death to find out whether Covid caused it or if it involved a pre-existing medical condition,” wrote Makary, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health and Carey Business School.
“I’ve written hundreds of peer-reviewed medical studies,” he said, “and I can think of no journal editor who would accept the claim that 335 deaths resulted from a virus without data to indicate if the virus was incidental or causal, and without an analysis of relevant risk factors such as obesity.”
Makary is not the only one who has raised questions about whether it’s really necessary to vaccinate children.
On Friday, the journal published an article that indicated a government agency had recommended vaccinating 12- to 15-year-old children who had medical conditions (at-risk 16- and 17-year-olds already were eligible) or who were living with someone with immune system problems.
In a point-counterpoint debate published in an edition of The BMJ earlier this month, three professors argued against vaccinating children, saying the risks outweigh the benefits and citing limited supplies of vaccines.
They referenced a U.S. CDC slide presentation that outlined the risk of myocarditis, mainly for young males, following vaccination. In boys aged 12 to 17, there were 56 to 69 cases of myocarditis per 1 million vaccine doses over a 120-day period, the CDC presentation said.
These instances may be rare. But they’re something that should go into parents’ decision-making process.
And that’s the key — parents ought to be the ones deciding whether or not their children will get vaccinated, not the government or any other parties that want to get involved. It’s up to the parents to evaluate the risks and benefits, and then decide what they want to do.
And the truth of the matter, as Makary’s research appears to show, is that for most children — not all, of course — COVID poses a much less serious risk.
It isn’t that COVID is something to take lightly (it’s not) or that children can’t get sick or die from it (they can, especially if they have pre-existing conditions). But politicians and others must be wary of pushing parents to just shut up and get their children vaccinated — the science simply isn’t on their side.