Does vaccine for children outweigh the risks?

During the Pitkin County town hall discussing child vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds, epidemiologist Josh Vance admitted that the Pfizer trial was very small but demonstrated zero cases of myocarditis. What Josh failed to explain is that in the trial there were initially 1,518 and 750 recipients of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine and a placebo, respectively. Two plus months of safety data was observed for this first cohort. Pfizer then added an additional 1,591 and 788 recipients of the Pfizer vaccine and placebo, respectively, to the trial. Only 2.4 weeks of safety data was observed for this second cohort. A total of 3,110 of the participants received the Pfizer vaccine. Considering myocarditis is estimated to occur at rate of one in 3,000 –to 6,000, the population seems too small to accurately assess the risk of myocarditis. Moderna’s (the other maker of an mRNA covid vaccine) trial for 12- to 17-year-olds has been delayed by the FDA to study myocarditis risk.

Josh then compared Pfizer’s Covid vaccine for emergency use in children 5 to 11 years old to more common vaccines such as MMR, flu, etc., to make the point that these vaccines are given to children even though there is a very low mortality rate in children for the respective viruses. This is not a fair comparison. All the vaccines he compared were studied for years prior to giving them to children and none are mRNA vaccines.

A point Josh and I can agree on is no child’s death is acceptable. However, the town hall ended with me pondering the same question I had at the onset: Does the benefit of the vaccine outweigh the risks? There are many doctors in our valley that are opponents of the Covid vaccine. If this town hall was meant to inform the community, it should have included at least one of these doctors in order to provide a balanced view.

Nic Caiano