A Harvard professor of immunology who also serves as a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voting member said on Tuesday that the safety of COVID vaccines among children won't be clear unless the shots are widely administered to the younger age group. The Biden administration overall campaign for COVID vaccines, which now includes child vaccination push, has parents concerned.
"We're never gonna learn about how safe the vaccine is until we start giving it," Dr. Eric Ruben of the FDA advisory committee said, as reported by Faithwire. "That's just the way it goes."
This was Dr. Ruben's response when he was asked, "Based on the totality of scientific evidence available, do the benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine when administered as a 2-dose series outweigh its risks for use in children 5-11 years of age?"
Dr. Rubin is part of the 18-member Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee of the FDA, which voted unanimously except for one abstention, in favor of recommending the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine for kids to be granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The same vaccine is expected to be given a full authorization by the FDA after it consults with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over this issue next week. The Biden administration hopes to make the COVID vaccines for children in the 5 to 11 age group available by early November.
Yale epidemiology professor Dr. Harvey Risch remarked during a Fox News interview that he would only recommend COVID vaccination for children with a chronic illness that increases their risk of severe infection of COVID. A vast majority of children however, do not have any significant issues with a COVID infection. Dr. Risch added that in the face of vaccine mandates in schools across the country, parents would be better off homeschooling their kids.
"If it were my child, I would homeschool them, honestly," Dr. Risch told Fox News' Mark Levin. "I would organize with other parents to take them out of the school and create homeschooling environments. There's no choice. Your child's life is on the line."
Mainstream media giants such as the Los Angeles Times, however, insist that "COVID-19 risks in kids are small, but vaccines can still save lives, experts say." In the very same report, however, the outlet admitted that "Male teenagers and younger adults have also been seen to have a higher risk of myocarditis after a Pfizer shot." In addition, there was "an observed increased risk of myocarditis, especially within a week following the second dose" and that such "observed risk is highest among boys ages 12 to 17."
Experts say however that the "overall risk of developing myocarditis in those groups remains small" and 86% of those who did, "resolved their symptoms during the study period."
"The hospital course is mild, with quick clinical recovery and excellent short-term outcomes," the study authors concluded, as per Pediatrics. Health experts recommend more studies to determine long-term implications.