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Entirely predictable: More parents don't want routine vaccination for their kids
CDC recommended unnecessary COVID19 vaccines for kids and lost all credibility
The CDC has just reported that more parents than ever are getting vaccine exemptions for their children entering Kindergarten. For many of us who have witnessed the CDC’s repeated blunders with kids COVID19 vaccines, this result is entirely predictable. The CDC has lost the trust of the American people, and it will keep getting worse.
First, let me say, I warned them. In a column for the Free Press, I argued that the CDC was making a mistake adding unproven COVID19 shots to the kids’ vaccine schedule— making parents feel that COVID shot and MMR vaccine are equally important— and this would result in a widespread mistrust in all vaccines.
Specifically, the COVID19 shot was added to pediatric schedule, as if it is a necessary vaccine, but it is not. There were no data suitable to support initial emergency use authorization— and there is certainly no data to support administering the shot to a child born in 2023. Let’s review the regulatory history from my paper.
FDA gave Pfizer a low bar for kids vaccines. Just prove that lower doses achieve the same antibody (Ab) levels. Pfizer did that for 5-11 year olds, and tried yet a lower dose for 6 month to 4 year olds. Unfortunately, that study FAILED to achieve noninferior Ab titers. FDA then gave Pfizer another chance— a chance for a 3rd dose to fix the problem.
This action was entirely unprecedented. FDA should have had Pfizer repeat the study. By adding doses, you explode the type 1 error. While this was ongoing, the FDA and Pfizer looked at symptomatic covid-19. Briefly it looked like the vaccine worked for this endpoint. They called a VRBAC to discuss approval, leaking it to the press, but then just as the meeting was about to happen, the EUA was pulled by Pfizer. (presumably the results not as good as thought). This action makes it seem that the FDA was eager to approve this shot no matter what the data showed, as long as a pretense could be achieved.
Finally, 3 doses were approved based on Ab titers, but randomized trials have never shown improvements in severe disease or hospitalization. Meanwhile, the virus has mutated, most kids already had covid, and there is no reliable data that little kids benefit from a COVID19 shot in 2023 and beyond. The White House and FDA poisoned public perception of kids vaccines with this regulatory fiasco.
Enter the CDC, the agency took the COVID19 shot and added it to the pediatric schedule, placing it alongside vaccines like MMR. I worried that the unyielding push to vaccinate kids with a COVID19 vaccine that has never shown reduction in severe disease or hospitalization in a randomized trial at any age, and certainly not against prevailing variants, was a huge mistake, and would lead the public to doubt all vaccines, rather than an embrace of all.
Enter the new CDC data— although the reasons are not ascertained— it is clear that trust in vaccines is cratering. The problem may be worse due to homeschooling, which was not captured in the dataset, and may have increased during the pandemic. Likely even more families are skipping vaccination.
Vaccine mandates in adults, ignoring the myocarditis safety signal, not acting fast enough for VITT, and even unrelated CDC blunders like masking 2 year olds for years may all undermine public health credibility. At a minimum, it is clear, more Americans are not accepting the CDC’s vaccine guidance. Very soon, we will likely see real outbreaks of measles and other virus thought controlled by vaccination.
In order to regain trust, the CDC needs to be reorganized. First, any employee responsible for masking 2 year olds or adding COVID19 vaccines to the pediatric schedule should be fired. Second, all employees should be prohibited from work from home, and return to office. Third, all recommendations that are made without randomized data, should consider if some randomized trials may be run, and budget dedicated to this purpose. Fourth, the CDC should compile a report of its own errors, and present these to Congress and the American People. We have already given them a helpful start. The CDC is failing every day; only drastic action can overcome the public doubt they have created by their own incompetence.