"We've been fed a lot of misleading information"
By Art Moore November 8, 2021
Following the CDC's approval of the Pfizer vaccine for young children, scientists and physicians at a summit in Florida warned against a rush to vaccinate a population with very little chance of severe infection from the coronavirus.
The Florida Summit on Covid in Ocala on Saturday addressed three big questions, reported Mary Beth Pfeiffer for TrialSite News. Do young children need vaccination against COVID? Are the vaccinations safe? Are unvaccinated children a threat to adults?
On each question, the physicians and researchers challenged the federal government's conclusions, pointing to studies and data.
Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of the mRNA technology employed by the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines: Inoculating 28 million children 5 to 11 years old could lead to "1,000 or more excess deaths" while the risk from COVID-19 for healthy children is "about zero" and appears to be lower than the seasonal flu.
Paul Alexander, a clinical epidemiologist and former senior adviser on pandemic policy in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "We've been fed a lot of misleading information ... children don’t get severely ill ... children don't die from this infection."
Dr. Richard Urso, Texas ophthalmologist: In Sweden, where schools were kept open, there was "not a single death of a child from COVID."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over the course of the pandemic -- from Jan. 1, 2020, to Nov. 3, 2021 -- 576 children under age 18 died of COVID-19 in a population of about 74 million, which statistically means there is zero risk of death. Further, the CDC's record of deaths attributed to COVID-19 doesn't tell the whole story. A study of 48,000 COVID-infected children under 18 found no deaths were reported among those without comorbidities, or underlying chronic conditions, such as leukemia or obesity.
That means healthy children did not die of COVID, argued the speakers at the Florida summit, and they, therefore, don't need to be vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the potential toll of vaccinating children is unacceptably high, they said. Among the risks is myocarditis, which has been found in studies to be three to six times the expected rate in vaccinated adolescents. A CDC study reported 14 vaccine-related deaths and 849 serious reactions in children 12 to 17 years old.
But the push to vaccinate young children is in full swing.
On Twitter, the Muppet character Big Bird declared Saturday, "I got the COVID-19 vaccine today! My wing is feeling a little sore, but it’ll give my body an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy." After criticism from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for using the iconic Sesame Street character to persuade children, President Biden's Twitter account replied with "Good on ya, Big Bird." Last week, Pfizer distributed a video featuring "superhero" boys and girls, in capes, masks and wings, celebrating vaccination.
First lady Jill Biden pushed the vaccination of young children Monday at a school in Northern Virginia, assuring hesitant parents that the shots are "great, effective. and free."
A new survey finds only 27% of parents are eager to get the shots for their kids. Further, 33% of parents say they will wait a while and see how the vaccine is working, and 30% say they will definitely not get the vaccine for their child.
Parents have condemned San Francisco's plan to mandate vaccination for school children as young as 5, arguing no one under the age of 20 has died from the virus in the city.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed earlier this month that there will be no vaccine mandate for schools in his state. And parents in New York City gathered in front of City Hall to protest a proposed vaccine mandate.
"It's one and done"
At the Florida summit, presenters argued natural immunity must be taken into account.
Dr. McCullough: "Natural immunity is robust; it’s complete; it’s durable. If it was possible to [be infected] again, it would've happened hundreds of millions of times. It’s one and done." He said that about 100 reinfection cases have been reported in the scientific literature, but it's unclear whether they actually were second infections. Natural immunity is important, because the CDC estimates 120 million Americans, about one-third of the population, have been infected with COVID. And more than 200 million will have been infected after the Delta wave.
Dr. Malone: "With COVID, you develop immunity to 50 or so proteins. With the vaccine, you develop immunity to one structural protein," the spike protein.
Dr. Ryan Cole, an Idaho pathologist: "Don't let them tell you that recovered-from-COVID does not lead to long-lasting immunity," pointing to 106 studies indictating the superiority of infection-acquired immunity while the CDC uses a single "pretend paper" to maintain that vaccines offer more protection.
Malone supports vaccination for high-risk groups, but told Pfeiffer his conclusion "may change as additional data become available."
Dr. Pierre Kory, president of Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, criticized what he described as a corrupt, Big Pharma-controlled system and government that is blocking options for early treatment with inexpensive "repurposed" drugs such as ivermectin. Journals have refused to publish scientific papers showing the efficacy of repurposed drugs while failing to publish retractions of opposing papers that turned out to be fatally flawed. He said that if "you want to keep your job, you let the leaders do what they do," a posture that has led to "unmitigated and repeated acts of corruption, which are hurting public health."
Meanwhile, some health care providers say their careers are on the line because they have insisted on providing off-label treatments that have been shown to be safe and effective.
"We’re getting the s*** kicked out of us, there's nowhere to go," Dr. Bruce Boros, owner of three urgent care centers in the Florida Keys, told Pfeiffer.
“The CEOs and administrators of hospitals are threatening us. You’re going to be fired. You must walk in lockstep with our standard of care."
Speakers dismissed the contention that unvaccinated children are a threat to adults, arguing there is no scientific support for it.
Urso said children "are not superspreaders," and Malone contended it's "not the kids responsibility to protect the elders."
Last week, the associate editor of the British Medical Journal, Dr. Peter Doshi, said in a panel hosted by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., on vaccine mandates that there is no science supporting universal vaccination, because there is no long-term safety data. Likewise, advisers to FDA and CDC committees expressed concern about the lack of data.
Hours before the CDC panel's approval last week of the Pfizer vaccine for children 5-11, the British Medical Journal published an article featuring a whistleblower's charge that poor practices at a contract research company helping to carry out Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine trial last fall may have compromised data integrity and patient safety.
Many prominent epidemiologists and other health experts, such as Dr. Ben Carson, have argued that the risks of vaccinating children outweigh the benefits.
During the FDA advisory committee meeting, Dr. Eric Rubin, editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, expressed the concern of many members about possible severe side effects that cannot yet be measured. He concluded, nevertheless, there was no other way forward.
"We're never going to learn about how safe the vaccine is unless we start giving it," he said. "That's just the way it goes."
Carson, the acclaimed former Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon and HHS secretary, said in a recent interview the Biden administration's move to vaccinate young children for COVID-19 amounts to a "giant experiment," arguing there is no sufficient data to determine the long-term risks posed by the shots.
Here some of the other health experts who believe children should not be vaccinated:
Dr. Martin Kulldorf, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, member of FDA and CDC scientific advisory committees: "I don’t think children should be vaccinated for COVID. I’m a huge fan of vaccinating children for measles, for mumps, for polio, for rotavirus, and many other diseases, that’s critical. But COVID is not a huge threat to children."
Dr. Harvey Risch, professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Yale School of Public Health and Yale School of Medicine, on what he would do if schools mandate the vaccine: "If the child has chronic conditions that make their risk appreciable, then there is reason that they should be considered for vaccination. Other than that, if it were my child, I would (remove them from public school and) homeschool them."
Dr. Sunetra Gupta, infectious disease epidemiologist and professor of theoretical epidemiology at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford: "At this stage, we should limit vaccination to the vulnerable and not target children (and possibly other young people) in COVID-19 vaccination strategies." Children "are unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination directly," "the collective benefit would likely be very limited" and "we have already imposed very large costs on children during this pandemic through indiscriminate restrictions, using them as mere means to others’ ends.
Dr. Robert Malone, virologist and immunologist known for his work developing mRNA vaccine technology: "There is absolutely no scientific or medical justification for vaccinating children, in my opinion."