Before anyone allows their child to be vaccinated they might like to caste their eye over this fact sheet for health care providers administering the vaccine.
Firstly, we notice that the trials conducted for children were massively smaller than the trials conducted for adults.
For the adult trial 37,586 participants 16 years of age or older were followed for a median of 2 months after the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. These adults were equally divided between the vaccine and placebo group.
Among children 2,260 participated in the trial and received either the vaccine or placebo. Only 660 children who received the Pfizer vaccine were followed for at least two months for reasons which are not clear.
For a vaccine we are planning to inject into millions of children these are not numbers which inspire trust.
The take home message from the data is that children are much more affected by every single side effect than adults. (with the exception of diarrhea)
For example, while 3.7 per cent of adults (18–55 year olds) were affected by fever after the first dose of their vaccine 10 per cent of children were affected by a fever of over 38 degrees after their first dose. When it comes to the second dose 19.6 percent of children get a fever of over 38 degrees. Among the over 55s the equivalent figure was 10 percent.
Among the over 55s 34 per cent were affected by fatigue on their first dose and 50.5 per cent on the second dose. Among children 60 per cent suffered fatigue after their first dose and 66.2 per cent of children on the second dose.
The higher rates of side effects in children applies to almost every single category looked at.
Let’s think what this means in practice.
Ten of the children in a year group of one hundred will have a fever after their first dose and nearly 20 will have a fever after their second dose. This fever is over 38 degrees but a couple of children in that year group will have a fever of nearly 40 degrees. I don’t know when you last had a temperature but even a 38 degree temperature leaves an adult feeling properly unwell.
Have we not already disrupted children’s education enough?
Children were much more likely to be afflicted by headaches. In a class of one hundred children 55 of them will have headaches after their first dose. Sixty five of them will have headaches after their second dose. Twenty two of these children will have severe headaches.
Is this really something which we can knowingly put our children through?
As a result, children are much more likely to take pain killers than adults. Thirty seven children had to take pain killers after the first injection and over half of the children had to take analgesics after their second injection.
Perhaps even more alarming is the fatigue the children suffer. After their second dose 66 children in a year group of 100 will suffer from fatigue. According to Pfizer forty-three of those children will have severe enough fatigue to interfere with their activities. In my opinion, when it comes to children all fatigue interferes with their activities.
In each year group of one hundred children two or three will vomit with each injection. Twenty eight will suffer from chills after their first injection. And 42 after the second.
And let’s not forget that 0.4% of the children in the trial suffered from serious adverse events. A serious adverse event is either “death, a life-threatening adverse event, inpatient hospitalization or prolongation of existing hospitalization, a persistent or significant incapacity or substantial disruption of the ability to conduct normal life functions, or an important medical event that based on appropriate medical judgement may jeopardize the individual and may require medical or surgical intervention to prevent one of the outcomes listed above”. A mother of one of those 0.4% speaks about her daughter’s suffering here.
This means that in a school of 1000 pupils four of them will die or end up seriously incapacitated or in hospital. How can we do this to our children?
These side effects may be influencing the timing of the child injections. On one hand we know that those who are pushing for child vaccination believe the coercion created by peer pressure will help to boost take up and are therefore keen for vaccination to be done in schools.
On the other hand, if it happens during the school holidays their education is less likely to be affected by the side effects.
It also means that there will be less communication amongst children about the side effects. The four children in every one thousand who end up in hospital or possibly even dead will be able to more easily slip under the radar.
Parents have all too often seemed unable to understand the risks and potential long-term consequences of injecting themselves with a completely novel untrialled substance. This could include neurological diseases, male sterility, and many other deeply unpleasant consequences (see here).
Perhaps the short-term consequences for their children will give them pause.