Yahoo Allows a Doctor to Advise Parents of Potential Adverse Vax Effects


The Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 5-11, followed Tuesday afternoon by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s decision to recommend the vaccine’s use for children.

Yahoo, among other outlets, actually reported warnings from Dr. Vinay Prasad,  a hematologist-oncologist and associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Prasad isn’t saying children shouldn’t get the vaccine, but he believes they should know about the potential adverse effects.


The emergency use was based on a pivotal trial that is ongoing but has a relatively small sample size (4,700 children).

This sample size is too small to document new or known adverse side effects (called safety signals) that have been noted at other ages and at other doses.

For instance, myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that can reduce the heart’s ability to pump or beat correctly, occurs in about 1 per 5,000 cases of vaccinated boys ages 12-15. If myocarditis occurs in boys ages 5-11 at the same rate as in boys 12-15, a study of this size would not be able to document that. We are flying blind on a side effect that parents need to be informed about.

Finally, the trial was not designed or able to assess whether vaccinating kids of this age, at this dose, slows asymptomatic disease or spread of SARS-CoV-2 to other household members, or for adults who care for these kids outside of the home. That limitation must be acknowledged.

Although the FDA’s overall modeling favors vaccination, in one scenario, the model even predicted boys, as well as boys and girls considered together, may experience “more excess hospitalization and ICU stays due to vaccine-related myocarditis” compared with the number of hospitalizations and intensive care unit stays due to COVID-19.

Whatever parents decide, they need to know these potential adverse effects. Children shouldn’t be guinea pigs.


The situation with the COVID vaccine is different from standard immunizations. The MMR etc. is about both protecting your child from highly contagious diseases with high risks to their health and protecting other children in school settings from those highly contagious diseases.

The COVID vaccine is, according to the FDA commissioners, mostly about protecting adults.

This isn’t the best public health policy. Adults can take the vaccine to protect themselves.

With nearly two years of data, we now know that children are still less likely to get it, less likely to spread it, and less likely to have serious cases or complications.

This is not like measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, etc. In fact, children with COVID tend to have less severe symptoms than children with influenza.

Additionally, we now have a growing body of research on how effective natural immunity is against COVID. Some studies suggest natural immunity is stronger than vaccine-induced immunity.

Like the flu vaccine, the COVID vaccine will most likely be an annual event for everyone, which again separates it from the mandatory vaccines we make kids go through. It’s like a flu shot, not a vaccine.

If a child is immunosuppressed, the vaccine is a good choice. Other than that, it’s up to the parents. It’s not likely necessary for children 5-11. It’s a cost-benefit issue and parents need to make the decision with the child’s doctor.

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