Pre-existing conditions are a problem, for both severe COVID as …

Comment on Why Vaccinate Kids Against COVID-19? by Sean Pitman.

Pre-existing conditions are a problem, for both severe COVID as well as Long-COVID. However, particularly with regard to the problem of Long-COVID, even otherwise healthy children also seem to have a rather high rate of long-term damage following a COVID-19 infection.

As far as the UKRI study, this particular study covered many of the limitations mentioned in the article you reference – such as selection bias that results in overestimating the rate of persistent symptoms. To counter such biases the UKRI study:

    – Relied on PCR lab proven SARS-COV-2 status
    – Enrolled a COVID-negative comparison control group
    – Recruited nationally.

There is, however, the very likely problem of bias in this study. Of those young people sent a survey, only 13% responded. It is quite possible that these respondents were more likely to have poor health than those who did not respond – resulting in an artificial inflation of the number of those with long-term symptoms. To what degree are these numbers inflated? Well, that seems hard to precisely pin down at this point, but the data currently in hand suggests that between 2% and 10% of childhood COVID cases will result in long-term symptoms – some of which appear to be permanent injuries.

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Why Vaccinate Kids Against COVID-19?
Assuming the 90% efficacy figure for the Pfizer vaccine holds up, vaccinating one million 5- to 12-year-old children would prevent 33,600 cases and 170 hospitalizations over 120 days. The CDC puts the figure about 58,000 cases and 226 hospitalizations prevented. During the same period of time, there would be around 21 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis (Link, Link). There is also the argument that the significant majority completely recover from vaccine-related myocarditis/pericarditis without any long-term effects. Recovering from a COVID-19 infection requiring hospitalization, however, often results in long-term injuries.

Why Vaccinate Kids Against COVID-19?
While vaccinating children is certainly more of a gray area as compared to vaccinating adults and those with pre-existing medical conditions, there are benefits to vaccinating children that Dr. Martin Kulldorff failed to mention – such as injuries that happen even if a child doesn’t die. These injuries and longer-term problems aren’t exactly rare either – as described in my article above. There is also the issue of children spreading the virus to others who are more susceptible.

Even death, while relatively uncommon among children compared to older adults, is still a problem. Almost 700 children have died from COVID-19 in the US so far. While this might seem to be similar to a normal flu season where between 34-200 children die during a given year, keep in mind that these numbers are affected by flu vaccinations that are given to children every year. Flu shots are widely available to all kids, while no COVID vaccines have been authorized for children under 12. More than half of children, around 60%, get their flu shot each year. This significantly reduces the death rate for children who are vaccinated since the vast majority (~90%) of kids who die from the flu each year are unvaccinated. That means, if you compare apples to apples, the flu death rate for children would be much higher without the annual flu vaccine – which is the reason why a flu vaccine for children has been made available. Why then should we not make a COVID vaccine available for children as well?

“Among children age 1-14, COVID-19 was in the top 10 leading causes of death through August and September 2021. Among children age 5-14, COVID-19 ranked as the number 6 leading cause of death in August and September. Among children ages 1-4, COVID-19’s rank rose from number 13 to number 7 among leading causes of death in August 2021 and held there in September.” (Link)

As far as the known risks of vaccines for children, these risks are still far less than the risks of getting infected by the live virus – for every significant risk one can list.

It is for this reason that the FDA advisory panel unanimously voted, yesterday, to approve the reduced dose Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11 (Link).

Why Vaccinate Kids Against COVID-19?
Although rare, it is thought that the production of the spike protein, from cells translating the mRNA vaccine, can trigger the same inflammatory cascade as a COVID-19 infection, resulting in these neurotrophic effects such as seizures (Link, Link). In children, seizures following various kinds of vaccinations may be related to the development of fevers (Link). Such febrile seizures do not end up affecting a child’s development or behavior (Link). It may also be that certain individuals are more prone to this side effect.

It is also interesting to note here that seizures may be the first and main manifestation of COVID-19 in children. “Seizures may occur even in children with no history of epilepsy and in the absence of fever or severe COVID-19 illness, necessitating a ‘high index’ of suspicion for the virus to make an early diagnosis and allow for appropriate infection control measures… Among 175 children diagnosed with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection in the emergency department over 10 months in 2020, 11 (6%) presented with seizures. Studies in adults with COVID-19 have reported seizures in 0% to 2% of cases, the investigators note. The 11 children with seizures (seven boys) ranged in age from 6 months to 17 years (median age, 11.5 years). All of them had seizures as the presenting sign of infection and none had severe COVID-19 requiring ventilatory or hemodynamic support. Six of the 11 children presented with fever.(Link).

Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
If the DNA of a person does not get altered by the mRNA vaccines, then, by definition, these vaccines are not “gene therapy”. This is what was noted by Bayer itself in their response to the comments of Oelrich:

The Bayer group tells 20 Minutes that this is “an obvious slip.” “At Bayer, [les vaccins à] mRNA does not come under gene therapy in the sense that is commonly attributed to this expression,” adds the company. (Link)

Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
Come on now. The “viral genetic information” that is being used is limited to the production of the spike protein. That’s it. The mRNA sequence itself does not alter the DNA of a person – their actual genetic code. This vaccine is therefore NOT “gene therapy”. That claim is just nonsense in any meaningful sense of the term. And Stefan Oelrich never intended to suggest otherwise. He was only talking about future applications of the mRNA technology. He never claimed that the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 function as gene-altering devices.

Bayer has responded noting that Stefan Oelrich was only talking about future applications of mRNA technology – not that the current mRNA vaccines alter the genetics of a person – which clearly doesn’t happen. The suggestion has been made that he misspoke regarding terms that he used, but that he never intended to suggest that the current mRNA-based vaccines modify the DNA of a person.

In any case, if you think otherwise, by all means, do share the mechanism by which this is likely to happen to any significant degree…

Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
That would be concerning if it actually occurred, to any significant degree, in white blood cells – like T-cells and B-cells. However, contrary to the suggestion of the authors, this just isn’t the case and there is no reasonable mechanism whereby this might be the case.

Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
I’m not sure what’s going on in Qatar, but COVID-19 reinfection rates are not that uncommon here in the States – and there have been a fair number of deaths following reinfection. Again, several friends of mine have been reinfected and symptomatic. A cousin of mine was reinfected three times.

State health officials say nearly 11,000 people in North Carolina have been reinfected with COVID-19, dispelling a common belief that you can’t get the virus a second time. The Department of Health and Human Services said of the 10,812 reinfection cases, 94 people have died. It is also reporting that of those vaccinated, there have been just 200 reinfection cases. (Link)

While the rates are certainly much lower compared to those who have had no exposure to COVID-19 antigens (via infection or via vaccine), at around 1%, it still seems as though the vaccines offer at least comparable immunity without the risks associated with an actual COVID-19 infection. It’s not that I do appreciate the protective advantages of natural immunity. I’m very hopeful that natural immunity will substantially contribute to eventual herd immunity around the world. However, given the option, getting the vaccine is much better than taking a chance with a COVID-19 infection.

Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
That’s true. So, the question is if these limitations are substantial enough to reasonably overcome the conclusions of the authors. The fact remains that your own personal experience doesn’t seem to be the same as those published in papers like this one where there are actual reinfections for those who have previously had COVID-19. Several friends of mine have been reinfected and a cousin of mine has been reinfected three times…