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Worth It? Risks and Benefits of Child Vaccination Against Covid-19 in Iceland


According to Icelandic online newspaper Fréttin, the Icelandic Medicines Agency has received 107 reports of side effects of Covid vaccines in children, of which 11 are classified as serious.

A serious adverse effect is defined as an effect of a drug that leads to death, a life-threatening condition, hospitalization or prolongation of hospitalization, or that causes disability or birth defects in humans. Also, reports that are considered clinically important are classified as serious.

The rate of reported versus experienced adverse effects, as well as the ratio of reported effects that actually are proven to be vaccine-induced, remain unclear, but according to estimates the reporting rate of adverse effects is quite low.

According to one extensive research study, less than 1% of adverse effects from vaccines are reported, and in general 1-13% of serious adverse effects from drugs are reported. According to a recent article in the Icelandic Medical Journal, studies show that generally less than 10% of vaccine side-effects are reported.

Fréttin has interviewed a number of people who have been seriously injured after Covid vaccinations and in none of those cases did doctors or health authorities report the events, though in some cases the patients themselves did.

What might then be the actual number and incidence rate of experienced serious adverse effects from Covid-19 vaccines experienced by Icelandic children? 

In the 5-11 age-group, 19,083 children have been injected. No serious adverse effects have been reported in that group. A possible explanation might be that fewer children in this group have received two injections, and the vaccine dose for this age was also smaller.

In the 12-15 age-group, 15,404 children have been injected (79% of 19,499 children), according to the official website Four cases of serious adverse effects have been reported. If we assume a 1% reporting rate, this means 400 serious events, or one in every 39 children. If we assume a 10% reporting rate, we have 40 cases of serious adverse effects, one in every 385 children.

In the 16-17 age-group, Fréttin reporters assume that 80% have been vaccinated (this age-group is included in the 16-29 group, which has a 90% vaccination rate).  Seven serious cases have been reported. Assuming a 1% reporting rate, this means 700 serious events, one in every 11 children. Assuming a 10% reporting rate we have 70 cases of serious adverse effects, one in every 105 children.

In total, 41,814 children aged 5-17 have been injected (68.55% of the total number of children in this age group) and 11 serious adverse effects have been reported. Assuming 1% of serious side effects are reported, this comes to 1,100 serious cases, one in every 38 children. Assuming a 10% reporting rate, we get 110 cases, one in every 380 children.

It is interesting in this context to look at the findings from a recent Icelandic study, SARS-CoV-2Infection in Icelandic Children, published in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. The study period is February 28, 2020 to August 31, 2021.

The researchers followed the outcomes of all children diagnosed with Covid-19 during the study period. They found that infections in schools were rare, no child was hospitalised with Covid-19, and none had severe symptoms. This study supports the results of a large Swedish study conducted in 2020 on nearly two million children.

Interestingly, two of the study authors took an active part in pushing for child vaccination early this year, despite their own findings.

As reports of adverse effects are not investigated to determine causation, it is hard to determine what percentage of experienced adverse effects are actually caused by the vaccines. But the number of reports, coupled with the estimated reporting rate, compared with an expected rate of serious adverse effects from flu vaccines of 1-2 per million, indicates that the incidence is very high in comparison; even if no underreporting is assumed, it is still a staggering 268 per million. This is similar to recent German figures.

Considering the aforementioned study which found serious complications from Covid-19 in children to be practically non-existent, this raises serious doubts about the continued push for child-vaccination.

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  • Thorsteinn Siglaugsson

    Thorsteinn Siglaugsson is an Icelandic consultant, entrepreneur and writer and contributes regularly to The Daily Sceptic as well as various Icelandic publications. He holds a BA degree in philosophy and an MBA from INSEAD. Thorsteinn is a certified expert in the Theory of Constraints and author of From Symptoms to Causes – Applying the Logical Thinking Process to an Everyday Problem.

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