A Centers for Disease Control advisory group released a statement on the ‘likely link’ between COVID-19 vaccinations and heart inflammation in rare cases on Wednesday. In over 300 cases of reported myocarditis or pericarditis, a Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccination preceded the heart condition.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Technical (VaST) Work Group noted the adverse reaction in vaccinated males between the ages of 16 and 24. The development of the heart condition was observed in adolescents and young adults and was considerably higher after the second dose in males.
Earlier, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the use of the experimental Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccines in children as young as 12.
President Biden in May praised the decision “as one more giant step in our fight against the pandemic,” and he called on parents to get their children vaccinated.
“The bottom line is this: A vaccine for kids between the ages of 12 and 15 … [is] safe, effective, easy, fast and free,” Biden claimed without evidence. “So my hope is that parents will take advantage of the vaccine and get their kids vaccinated.”
Rep. Thomas Massie noted the disparity between expected and observed incidence rates of myocarditis and pericarditis among vaccinated age groups.
Children and young adults are the least likely to suffer from COVID-19 and the most likely to experience myocarditis as a result of the vaccine. No one should be forced to take this vaccine. It’s especially wrong to force this vaccine on those who have recovered from the virus. pic.twitter.com/HGE1LXoMKc
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) June 23, 2021
The World Health Organization issued new guidance on childhood vaccinations on Monday. The WHO’s current advice for parents who have plans to get their children vaccinated is to await further investigation of the vaccines.
“Children should not be vaccinated for the moment,” the WHO said. “There is not yet enough evidence on the use of vaccines against COVID-19 in children to make recommendations for children to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Children and adolescents tend to have milder disease compared to adults. However, children should continue to have the recommended childhood vaccines.”
The WHO’s guidance does not exactly correspond with that of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, according to its website.
“CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against COVID-19,” the CDC says. “Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. People who are fully vaccinated can resume activities that they did prior to the pandemic. Learn more about what you and your child or teen can do when you have been fully vaccinated. Children 12 years and older are able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.”
Nonetheless, there are reports that children are experiencing heart inflammation in rare cases, but in relatively significant numbers when compared with the minute risk that the SARS-CoV-2 virus poses to young people.
“As of June 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration had confirmed 323 cases of myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, or pericarditis, inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart, in people younger than 30 who had received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines,” AHA News reported. “That’s out of more than 310 million doses administered in the U.S.”
“This may be coincidental, a person may be predisposed to this, it may be as we see often in this vaccine that our own immune system starts reacting in an inflammatory way against our own muscles,” Dr. Michael Welch, an allergist and immunologist at Rady Children’s Hospital, told NBC 7 in San Diego.
The WHO’s guidance, however, underscores that the vaccines are experimental (albeit they have been shown to have been effective among older and at-risk populations at bending down the COVID infection rates). It also underscores that the public should be permitted to debate the matter as citizens please without interference in the virtual public square.
The WHO guidance also brings to light two issues that critics have been insisting all along. First, taking vaccines must be a personal decision that should not be mandated by the state or by employers, lest they be opened up to civil litigation. Secondly, a sober risk assessment shows a much less robust case for mass childhood vaccinations, whether they be for schools or even for general preventative measures.
There are around 100 million American citizens under 18 in the United States. The mortality risk posed to healthy young people is insignificant: The CDC’s numbers show that 322 people under 18 have died with COVID, and it estimated elsewhere that 95% of mortality cases overall are people with serious multiple co-morbidities.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.