Vinnie, I agree that we can never expect the risk to be zero, but when the ICUs are full, I think we can agree the risks are too high to ignore or deny. I struggle with these issues as many in my region are willing and ready to accept those risks, even though the price paid is innocent lives.
If I were given to fear, I would replace ‘interesting’ with ‘scary’. I expect to be weeping some for the afflicted children whose foolish parents are antimaskers and antivaxxers, not that I might not shed tears for the parents, too, especially those in my church who are so foolish.
Those who think they are wisely assessing the risks and remain unvaccinated, along with refusing to allow their eligible children to be vaccinated, are anything but.
Anger on the part of medical personnel against antivaxxers and antimaskers is justified for such preventable tragedy.
This sounds pretty heartless. Significantly greater numbers of children are getting sicker because the R0 is around 7 compared to 2.5 before. The percentage of infected children getting very sick is holding steady I believe, but when you apply that small percentage to a greater number, you get a greater number of deaths. There is absolutely no guarantee that if you are a healthy child you won’t be affected by the “bad” outcomes. If the chance of infection goes up significantly because the variant is many times more contagious, than COVID becomes riskier for children because a much larger population will be affected by those small chances of complications and death. If Delta turns out to be no more severe than the other variants, then 2.5% of children infected will be hospitalized, .8% will need ICU care, and .1% will die. It should matter in our calculus of whether this is a big deal if 50% of the country’s children are likely to be infected or 2% of the country’s children are likely to be infected. With the highly contagious nature of the delta variants I have heard doctors saying that it is likely that nearly everyone who is not vaccinated will contract it at some point. There are 73 million kids in the US. Some are over 12 and vaccinated and some will be vaccinated in coming months as vaccines become available for younger children, so let’s apply the serious sickness and mortality percentages to just a quarter of the kids in the country. That’s 456,250 hospitalizations, 146,000 ICU admissions, and 18,250 dead kids. To put that in perspective, in 2019-2020, 188 children died of influenza and it was considered a bad year. Between 2012–2014, there were 228 diabetes-related deaths in children under 19. So we are not talking here about some miniscule number where we throw up our hands and say, “Well, it will be what it will be.” Especially not when we can do things that will lower the number like increase the overall vaccination rates of the population and wear masks in areas of high transmission to reduce spread.
Experts are going to recommend it for all children except a small minority with known issues with vaccines.
Your opinions seem to be informed by gut feelings more than math though, which is problematic. Unless you are going to post facts, I think it’s time you bow out of this conversation with your opinions.
Dr. Collins knows how to crunch numbers and what percentages really mean:
“The big message right now this morning,” he said, is “for the people who aren’t vaccinated, this is the moment to absolutely get off the fence and take care of this because you are a sitting duck for this virus. It’s looking for you.”
Is it heartless to reopen schools and have several hundred children eat together for 20 minutes at a clip maskless, in very close proximity to one another over three separate waves? That will be happening in my school with a couple hundred kids in a small cafe over three separate waves maskless. Is reopening schools heartless? I have some faith left in humanity. if the kids really were that at risk, I could not see this happening. Again, not buying your statements bordering on emotional blackmail.
Once again it is some or most experts. All of them do not support vaccinating children. Britain has elected to NOT vaccinate most of it’s children without underlying conditions and who don’t live with compromised individuals.
The decision to hold off giving shots to most people under age 18 was based on the recommendation of an expert advisory panel. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization said the health benefits of universal vaccination don’t outweigh the risks for most young people, who typically suffer only mild symptoms of the virus.
“Until more safety data is available and has been evaluated, a precautionary approach is preferred,” the JCVI said in a statement.
I don’t think these are all crack-pot lunatics unaware of the data and science. They are infectious disease and medical experts. I understand that legitimate disagreements by scientists hurts the narrative but there is no need or justification to suppressing the other side.
The WHO also offers some different guidance than what you are saying re: children.
English version last updated on 14 July 2021.
Children and adolescents tend to have milder disease compared to adults, so unless they are part of a group at higher risk of severe COVID-19, it is less urgent to vaccinate them than older people, those with chronic health conditions and health workers.
> More evidence is needed on the use of the different COVID-19 vaccines in children to be able to make general recommendations on vaccinating children against COVID-19.
WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) has concluded that the Pfizer/BionTech vaccine is suitable for use by people aged 12 years and above. Children aged between 12 and 15 who are at high risk may be offered this vaccine alongside other priority groups for vaccination. Vaccine trials for children are ongoing and WHO will update its recommendations when the evidence or epidemiological situation warrants a change in policy.
Probably close to half of Europe has elected not to vaccinate healthy children at this point.
A study of seven countries published in March by The Lancet, the British medical journal, found that fewer than two out of every million children have died because of COVID. Those opposed to vaccinating teenagers argue the risks of adverse reactions outweigh the benefits.
For some they simply say vaccines should be given to poor areas where we have a shortage and we should come back to children later on. For others, the current benefits don’t outweigh the risks. I am sorry but it is not fully certain to all medical experts that vaccinating healthy children is the best course of action right now. Your statement that experts say to vaccinate kids is misleading and demonstrably false in many cases at the moment. If Delta starts doing all those hypothetical “ifs” you mentioned in all your statistical fear mongering, certainly many will come on board and offer guidance closer to what the US CDC says. I say this as a teacher who did offered his honest opinion to his students last year that vaccination was probably the best choice. But the emotional blackmail needs to go when it comes to parents making choices for their kids.
Those are false accusations. Just because someone feels like it is ‘emotional blackmail’ or ‘fear mongering’ does not mean it is – those are merely exaggerated and sensationalistic labels. Accusing Dr. Collins of such is ridiculous and way more indicative of something else. Christy’s discussion of statics is more apropos.
There is nothing hypothetical about infants with COVID on ventilators.
And many of the parents not vaccinating their children may be misguided, but they are doing it for that exact reason you mentioned. They are very protective. Sad but true. And I tend to see product recalls from the other end. They are mostly voluntarily because it costs a company less than the impending lawsuits. But if most parents on the fence were convinced that the vaccine made their children safer they probably would opt for it. Still, many experts don’t yet see a huge benefit to it in terms of cost and reward. I have a hunch the Delta variant may change that but only time will tell. Britain’s decision seems to have come about a month ago. It’s possible they are already reconsidering it. But if half of Europe can decide against vaccinating heathy children based on expert analysis then I suggest parents in the US, who are mostly not trained in science, not trained in logical argumentation, not trained in proper research methods and who ultimately have trouble vetting an overwhelming amount of information and misinformation heading their way every day should be cut a little more slack than some give them. I mean we are, after all, on a website which has to counteract millions of Christians who believe in a literal Genesis and a 6,000 year old earth. Most people just aren’t that critical or well educated enough to know better. Shall we talk about the talking snake and magical tree in the Garden, the absurdity of inerrancy or 100 other issues people butcher regularly related or not related to religion? I know all my friends who refuse to vaccinate themselves or their kids do love them very much and think they are doing what is right.
As a hypothetical worst-case scenario years down the road yes, it was apropos with its numerous conditional statements. If more kids get sick and their mortality rate goes up that will never happen. Most likely more people will open up to the vaccine. People love their children. And if the data trends seriously in that direction I would stand behind mandatory vaccinations for children. Not doing it could be construed as child abuse. But we are not anywhere near that right now and I’m generally a fan of less government than more.
And your post which suggested I made false accusations about emotional blackmail ended with a text book case.
Roger Shapiro, associate professor of immunology and infectious diseases, noted that the highly contagious Delta variant and the fact that a large percentage of people remain unvaccinated has changed the course of the pandemic. “As the Delta variant has come along, we’ve had to relearn a whole lot of new things to understand how well the vaccines do and don’t work as the virus evolves,” he said. “The more people who are not vaccinated, the more chance the virus has to evolve and to put itself against vaccinated people’s immune systems and outsmart that.” He added, however, “These vaccines are so extraordinarily good at keeping people out of the hospital from [from] dying. That’s what they’re intended to do—to save people’s lives.”
Dr. Shapiro is an Associate Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. He has worked for over two decades in Botswana, performing clinical trials and nationwide surveillance to improve health outcomes for HIV-infected pregnant women and their children. His current research focus is to understand the relationship between antiretroviral drugs used in pregnancy and adverse birth outcomes, and to study novel diagnostic and treatment strategies for HIV-infected children.
England is making serious mistakes as they attempt to control this pandemic
Note: it is important to keep up to date on the latest data, especially for our skeptics
Aug 16,2021 After England relaxed most of its COVID-19 restrictions, infections surged. Some experts think that England’s reopening could cause many unnecessary deaths, lead to more so-called long COVID cases in thousands of people, and encourage the emergence of another highly contagious variant. [William Hanage](William P. Hanage | Academic Profile | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), associate professor of epidemiology, said that as gatherings increase, there will be “more opportunities for superspreading…”
Joseph Allen, associate professor of exposure assessment science and director of the Healthy Buildings program, said that while parents are right to worry about the Delta variant, simple mitigation efforts can make classrooms safe for their children. He recommended that all children and staff wear masks, that everyone who sets foot in a school who can be vaccinated should be, and that ventilation and filtration in school buildings be improved.
Suppose you had a sharp pain in your lower right side. You visited your GP and were told that you had appendicitis and needed an operation. If there were no operation, the appendix would likely burst and you would die. Hence, you would very likely move on to see a surgeon and ask to have your infected appendix removed…and then go on to live happily ever after. So, if you would let a stranger cut you open, why would you not take the advice of your GP when urged to get a vaccination?
Vaccination of teenagers is not just about the mortality rate of teenagers.
Many teenagers are suffering from the restrictions due to COVID, lack of normal social life. The results of distance learning have been poor for some kids that would need more advice and support from the teachers. Low grades may affect the future of these children. The teenagers are willing to take the vaccination if it helps to end the restrictions and allow the return to school.
At the population level, the spread of COVID is tied to the number of susceptible hosts. Teenagers are part of the population. If the percentage of people that are vaccinated is high enough, overall levels of COVID patients needing hospital care will drop. After this, there is no need for strict regulations. Normal social life, cultural life, economy - that has a value. Hospitals can again concentrate on other problems, so people get better health care.
When the restrictions end, those that are not vaccinated may suffer but it’s their choice.
As far as I have read, the side effects of vaccination are less severe than those caused by COVID infections. It is possible that some persons will get serious side effects, such as myocarditis. The risk of getting such side effects are higher from a COVID infection than from the vaccination. With the Delta variant, the risk of getting a COVID infection is very high - you will meet the virus sooner or later. So, it’s a question of low risk vs. a higher risk.
Vaccination comes with side effects - mild side effects are a sign that the immune system responds, a sign that the vaccine has a desired effect. Yet, the consequences of vaccination are much better than the alternative, the consequences of not taking the vaccination. Even for teenagers.
Just read from a local newspaper that, according to a meta-analysis, 70% of the young persons getting COVID had at least one symptom that lasted six months, even those that got COVID with mild symptoms.
If a high percentage gets some form of long COVID (at least one symptom lasts six months), this is one more reason to consider vaccination.