Brownstone » Brownstone Institute Articles » Stop Vaccinating Children for Covid: It’s Neither Medically Justified Nor Ethical

Stop Vaccinating Children for Covid: It’s Neither Medically Justified Nor Ethical

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As time passes, Covid policy is proving to be a bigger threat than Covid disease. Promoted as an initial protection measure to buy much-needed time against a once-in-a-century pandemic, it became a way of life to which health bureaucrats and autocratically-inclined leaders became addicted and are having trouble letting go. 

Yet in the UK: “The effects of lockdown may now be killing more people than are dying of Covid.” An editorial in the Telegraph emphasized the importance of establishing why a meaningful cost-benefit analysis of Covid policy was not carried out. Former UK Supreme Court Justice Lord Sumption describes lockdown as “an experiment in authoritarian government unmatched in our history even in wartime.” Australia’s vaunted success in controlling the pandemic in 2020–21, meanwhile, looks increasingly hollow in 2022 (Figure 1).

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The instinct to protect offspring is one of the most powerful in nature across all species, with examples only too common of parents, especially mothers, sacrificing themselves in a desperate effort to save their young. On September 4, on the edge of the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in central India, Archana Choudhary was working in the fields with her 15-month toddler when a tiger appeared and sunk its teeth into the baby’s head. Choudhary grappled the tiger with her bare hands trying to free the baby from its jaws until, hearing her screams, villagers came to her assistance with sticks and stones and the tiger fled. Both Mum and Bub were taken to hospital, with the mother’s wounds being the more serious. A real-life Tiger Mom!

The hardwired instinct to protect children might explain why in jurisdictions where vaccines have been approved for children, the takeup, especially for young children, has lagged well behind the adult vaccination rates. The effort to psychologically nudge and politically coerce children’s vaccination is abhorrent, distressing and puzzling in equal measures.

Children Are at Very Low Risk

Abhorrent, because it’s an acute manifestation of the evil that has taken hold following the fear induced in peoples by deliberate psychological campaigns of terror propaganda, aided and abetted by mainstream and social media. Large numbers of people in Western societies have actively colluded with governments in imposing harms on children. Debbie Lerman wrote an excellent account on this site of how instilling and sustaining mass fear was the one unifying theme that explains all the otherwise crazy edicts and policy interventions by the US government.

In almost all Western countries, the average age of Covid deaths has been higher than the average life expectancy and the mortality risk to children is lower by a thousandfold. This is the first occasion in history where children have been made to bear the heaviest costs, with futures mortgaged to massive debts, educational opportunities drastically curtailed and exposure to potentially harmful and even lethal medical interventions, just so the old can cling on to life for a few more months and years. Take two telling examples. 

In January UNICEF reported on the devastating setbacks to children’s education. Robert Jenkins, UNICEF Chief of Education, said “we are looking at a nearly insurmountable scale of loss to children’s schooling.” Large-scale independent studies published in early September documented a two-decade reversal in children’s educational progress in the US. Japan experienced a jump in suicides by more than 8,000 between March 2020 and June 2022 compared to pre-pandemic numbers, mostly among women in their teens and 20s.
Unlike the flu, which tends not to discriminate between different age cohorts, coronavirus is very age-specific. The exceptional and extreme age-segregation of Covid deaths was known very early in the pandemic. On April 30, 2020, the Daily Mail reported that children under 10 are not transmitters of the disease. Despite more than 26,000 Covid-related deaths in the UK, experts who reviewed the data failed to find a single case of an infected under-10 who had passed on the disease to an adult.

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The BBC reported on May 7, 2020 that in England and Wales, there were only around 300 deaths in under-45s compared to around 24,000 in over-65s. Older people with pre-existing health conditions were the most at risk, as shown in a visually striking age-adjusted graph from the BBC (Figure 2). For those under 20, the risk is negligible. In October 2020, the Great Barrington Declaration – with 932,500 signatories currently, including 63,100 doctors and medical and public health scientists – noted that the mortality risk of Covid in the young was a thousand-fold less than in the old and infirm.

On June 30, 2021, Prof. Robert Dingwall, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation that advises the UK government, said letting children catch Covid would be better than vaccinating them. Their intrinsically low risk from Covid means they may be “better protected by natural immunity generated through infection than by asking them to take the ‘possible’ risk of a vaccine.” 

In July, Stanford University’s Cathrine Axfors and John Ioannidis published their estimate that survivability of infected under-20s is 99.999%, falling to 99.958% for the under-50s..

The persistence of the drive to vaccinate children is puzzling because the lockdown and vaccine narratives are falling apart. One driver of this is the growing realization that excess death counts from all-cause mortality have risen in many countries, including Australia, Netherlands and the UK

Death is the one statistic that cannot be fudged or subjected to definitional spin. In their analysis of the 50 US states, John Johnson and Denis Raincourt show that if anything, lockdown states have higher all-cause mortality rates than contiguous non-lockdown states. In many cases deaths also seem to track vaccination campaigns in successive doses.

In part the situation reflects the monomaniacal obsession with Covid to the exclusion of other leading killer diseases. The Telegraph pointed out that the UK National Health Service is once again on the verge of collapse, this time from “a tsunami of non-Covid patients who were denied treatment during the pandemic.” 

Lockdown Back Pedalling

As noted by Carl Heneghan and Tom Jefferson of Oxford University, prominent practitioners of evidence-based medicine rather than modelling-based projections, the “lockdown back-pedalling race” has begun. In late August, former UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak said it had been a mistake to empower the government’s scientific advisory committee SAGE, whose analyses and forecasts were dominated by gloom and doom unless stringent restrictions were put in place yesterday. 

He added that insufficient attention had been paid to the knock-on effects of lockdowns on health, education and the economy. The fear messaging had also been wrong and harmful in destroying trust in public institutions. Critics attributed his Damascene conversion to a desperate effort to revive his faltering campaign for leadership of the Conservative Party and hence becoming prime minister of the UK.

I believe this is wrong. By then the writing was clearly on the wall and Sunak, by all accounts a fundamentally decent man, wanted to go on the public record, inwardly accepting that he had already lost, in order to put obstacles in the path of future lockdowns. In that sense Sunak’s Spectator interview is more accurately read as the start of the unravelling of the great Covid narrative. Sure enough, he was soon followed by former cabinet colleagues and parliamentarians

Former Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed he brought along his own spreadsheets on international data to cabinet discussions to counter SAGE analysis and advice. Even Sunak’s leadership rival, and now PM, Liz Truss claims she too was opposed to lockdowns. Unfortunately, this is contradicted by her public record but no matter, she has boxed herself in as regards returning to lockdown in the future.

Meanwhile, Denmark has banned vaccines for under-18s and under-50s can get a booster only with a doctor’s prescription. The CDC’s new guidance acknowledges the “transient” protection from vaccination against infection and transmission and the reality of naturally-acquired immunity through infection. 

It therefore recommended against any further discrimination by vaccination status for most settings. Yet, again demonstrating bureaucrats’ infinite capacity for idiocy, the ban on unvaccinated visitors to the US was maintained and stopped Novak Djokovic from competing in athe US Open that was denuded of serious star power in the men’s semis and finals.

Vaccines for Australian Children

In Israel, as succinctly summarized by Will Jones, public health authorities and the government deliberately covered up serious vaccine side-effects. In September we learnt that several Australian health officials were on a government- sponsored visit as guests of Israel’s Ministry of Health.

On July 19, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) granted provisional approval to Moderna for administering Spikevax vaccines to children aged 0.5–5 years. Provisional because they are still undergoing clinical trials to assess full safety. The decision is especially strange in light of concerning reports of deaths, adverse events and long-term side-effects accompanying vaccines. The Therapeutic Goods Regulation (1990) restricts provisional approvals to medicines for “the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of a life-threatening or seriously debilitating condition.”
This would appear to rule out provisional vaccine approval for children below five, as shown in the empirical data from New South Wales (NSW). The resilience of the under-50s can be seen in Figure 3. In the 14-week period May 22–August 27, they made up 27.3% of Covid-related hospitalization and 19.7% of ICU admissions, but only 1.4% of deaths. In the same period, just 0.11% of all Covid-related deaths in NSW were children and young people up to the age of 19 (Figure 4).

figure-3-cumulative-hospital
figure-4-cumulative-deaths

On this basis, a group of lawyers is aiming to file a crowd-funded case in the High Court (Australia’s equivalent of the US Supreme Court) against the decision. But so far Australian courts have been disappointingly supine toward health edicts.

The TGA’s website states that its “regulatory costs are mostly recovered through annual fees and charges levied on the sponsors and manufacturers of therapeutic goods.” An article in the British Medical Journal by Maryannne Demasi, published on June 29, documented that a compromising 96% of the TGA’s A $170mn 2020–21 budget came from industry sources, higher than the rates (in descending order) for the European, UK, Japanese, US and Canadian counterparts.

This is beyond regulatory capture and closer to the regulator being in the pocket of the regulated. Should we be surprised that the TGA approved nine of every ten applications from drug companies that year? The TGA “firmly denies that its almost exclusive reliance on pharmaceutical industry funding is a conflict of interest,” and the TGA is an honourable regulator. Yet the sad reality is the global drug industry has a particularly scandal-ridden record in influencing regulatory decisions via funding with regard, for example, to opioids, Alzheimer’s drugs, influenza antivirals, pelvic mesh, joint prostheses, breast and contraceptive implants, cardiac stents, etc.

In the Declaration for the Protection of Children and Young People from the Covid-19 Response in May 2021, the Pandemics Data and Analytics (PANDA) group said that Covid-19 is “a disease for which they [the young] carry essentially no risk.” Therefore vaccinating children is “all risk, no benefit.” Are we really going to engage in child sacrifice on the altar of Big Pharma?

Directing attention and resources without age-stratified discrimination – because “everyone is equally at risk” – made no medical or policy sense, unless, as Lerman postulates, the primary goal was to inculcate a self-sustaining state of mass panic. So even the children had to be routinely tested, isolated, deschooled, masked and vaccinated as part of what Swedish Dr. Sebastian Rushworth called the “Covid mania” and “collective state of hysteria.”. Universal vaccines is like the drunk looking for car keys near the light from the street lamp instead of where he lost them.

Against the extremely low serious risk from Covid with a survival rate of 99.99% for 0-19 year olds, the likely greater risk from vaccines, and the completely unknown long-term effects of the new-technology vaccines, if I had young children, I’d resist attempts to jab them, to the death if necessary.

Ordinarily, it would be best to put the whole Covid nightmare behind us and move on. This might be one of the rare exceptions, for accountability for the pain and harms inflicted on individuals and society is the best, and likely the only effective insurance against a repeat. 

On July 23 the World Health Organization declared monkeypox, which so far has affected few people in a handful of countries, a public health emergency of international concern

David Bell and Emma McArthur warn that the global pandemic industry has no plans for a return to normal. This is why the chief architects of population-wide lockdown and vaccine policies must be identified, put in the dock and made to answer and pay for their misdeeds.

Lest we forget.

Author

  • Ramesh Thakur, a former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, is emeritus professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.


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