Should I Vaccinate My Child Against Covid? ⋆ Brownstone Institute | Martin Kulldorff

“The emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine for children was based on two randomized clinical trials for ages 5-11 and 12-15, respectively, with a total of 4,528 subjects. In both trials, there was a reduction in mild Covid infections during the two months following the second dose,…”

“A vaccine that only prevents mild disease is of little use, so what about serious disease, hospitalizations and deaths? There were zero such events among those who received the vaccine. There were also zero such events among those who received a placebo.”

“With limited information from the randomized trials, we must turn to observational studies and we now have one. In New York State, 23% of children ages 5-11 and 62% of children ages 12-17 had been fully vaccinated by the end of January 2022. These 1.2 million vaccinated children were studied from November 29 to January 30, comparing them to the unvaccinated children in the State. Here is what we learned from that study, with all risk estimates based on 95% confidence intervals.”

  • “The vaccine reduces short-term infection risk. During the first two weeks after the second dose vaccine efficacy against infection is in the 62%-68% range for 5–11-year-olds and in the 71%-81% range for 12–17-year-old children.”
  • “The protection against infection wanes rapidly. In the fifth week after vaccination, the vaccine efficacy against infection is in the 8%-16% range for 5-11-year-old children and in the 48%-63% range for the older ones. In the seventh week after vaccination, vaccine efficacy dropped further, to the 18%-65% range for the 12-17-year-olds.”
  • “For the 5-11-year-olds, vaccine efficacy is negative during the seventh week after the second dose, with the unvaccinated having a lower risk of infection in the 29% -56% range. How can this be? A likely explanation is that the unvaccinated children got infected earlier than the vaccinated ones, and once the protection has worn off, the vaccinated children are at higher risk than the unvaccinated ones who have now acquired natural immunity. That is, the vaccine simply postponed infections by a few weeks or months.”
  • “How about deaths from Covid? That is what really matters. Unfortunately, the New York study does not present mortality data. Why? Over the two years of the pandemic, the survival rate for New Yorkers ages 0-19 is 99.999%. Despite over 3 million children, there may not have been enough Covid deaths during the two-month study period to determine vaccine efficacy against mortality.”
  • “The numbers reported mean that by vaccinating 365,502 children ages 5-11, an estimated 90 hospitalizations were prevented. This would mean that in order to prevent one hospitalization, one must vaccinate 4,047 children. The corresponding number is 1,235 for children ages 12-17.”

“They include both hospitalizations that are due to Covid and hospitalizations for other causes with a concurrent unrelated mild Covid infection. Even if the vaccine had zero efficacy at preventing hospitalization due to Covid, the efficacy against mild Covid infection would ensure that the study reported good efficacy against hospitalization. That the reported vaccine efficacy is higher for hospitalization than for infections indicates that there is at least some efficacy for the former, but it is impossible to properly estimate the level of efficacy without data that distinguishes hospitalizations due to and with Covid.”

“For children, the mortality risk [from COVID] is very small and the known and any still unknown risks from adverse reactions may outweigh the benefits at reducing hospitalizations and death from Covid, which are unfortunately still unknown.”

Source: Should I Vaccinate My Child Against Covid? ⋆ Brownstone Institute

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