The Dutch Doctors Covid Collective is concerned about the upcoming advice from the Health Council on vaccinating healthy children from the age of 12 against corona. Last Wednesday, the Health Council advised that children aged 12 to 17 from medical risk groups should be vaccinated against Covid-19. We are now waiting for advice on vaccinating healthy children. In anticipation of this, we would like to express our concern now. “Let’s not gamble with our children,” the foundation says in a letter that was sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health, Welfare and Sport today.
This letter points out that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has conditionally approved the Pfizer vaccine based on one study, in which only 1,000 vaccinated teens were compared with 1,000 unvaccinated controls. The safety investigation was limited to just two months. The study was therefore far too short and too limited in number to detect possible side effects in the medium to long term. We are completely in the dark about possible damage in the long run. And this while the dramas caused by the Mexican flu vaccine are unfortunately still etched in the memory.
The chance that healthy children will become seriously ill from Covid-19 is very small. The chance of dying is almost zero. The vast majority usually have no or only mild complaints. For adults, the corona vaccines have received ‘conditional’ EMA approval due to emergency or necessity. However, there is no need or emergency for healthy children. Children also do not play a significant role in the spread of the coronavirus.
Key question: children as a ‘shield’?
The key question is therefore: should we vaccinate healthy children with a whole life ahead of them in order to protect vulnerable elderly people? Jaap van Dissel (from the Dutch Health Crisis team) states that vaccinating children helps to lower the R-number. Epidemiologist and pediatrician Dr Patricia Bruijning (UMC Utrecht) said about this in Het Parool last week: “You should vaccinate children if it is of sufficient benefit to them, not just because it keeps the R-value below 1.”
In its letter to the House of Representatives, the Doctors Collective indicates that it wholeheartedly agrees with Bruijning. Never before has a vaccine been given to children on a large scale in the Netherlands that did not directly benefit them. When children are vaccinated “for someone else” for the first time in history, safety must be unequivocally established. But the safety data, and with it that certainty, are not yet available.
“Let’s not gamble with our children to keep the R-value below 1, the collective tells the House Committee. “They have had to sacrifice too much in the past year and a half and youth is the future. Let’s not use them as ‘shields’: we must protect our children, not sacrifice their physical integrity for adults. That’s the world upside down. Let’s stand up for the well-being and health of the generation growing up now.”