Vaccinating 5 to 11 yo: the UK does not advise healthy kids to get it, while USA starts mandating it for school
Our policy is not sensible
It is always instructive to highlight differences in the vaccination policies between nations. After all, the clinical trials that guide these decisions are the same across nations.
Yet, different experts can view the same risk-benefit decisions differently, or view uncertainty differently. In my mind, there is clearly a problem if one nation advises AGAINST doing something while another location MANDATES it. I think we should all agree that this makes no sense. One should not deploy the brute force power of the mandate if a decision is sufficiently debatable that another nation literally advises against it.
This already happened with LA County’s mandate for 2 doses for teens 12-15. I detailed how LA’s school mandate was in tension with UK and Norway’s guidance with respect to number of doses and timing of doses in the US News and World Report.
Now, we see it again. The UK’s expert body JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) is moving forward with vaccinating 5 to 11 year olds with underlying health conditions, who are at risk, but not all healthy 5 to 11 year olds.
When it comes to healthy 5 to 11 year olds this is what JCVI is waiting for:
All quite reasonable, if you ask me!
Now, contrast the UK with the US.
New Orleans has already moved ahead and mandated vaccination in 5 to 11 year olds. And the AFT president has said she stands behind such mandates. New Orleans policy goes into effect February 1.
The penalty for non-compliance with these mandates will likely be exclusion from in person schooling. That penalty is far harsher than the risk of sars-cov-2 in a healthy unvaccinated child, which is very low. The best data for that is the new Germany paper.
Can we at least acknowledge how crazy it is that one nation DOES NOT RECOMMEND something while another nation MANDATES IT to attend something as basic and necessary as grade school?
In 2019, in the wake of poor uptake of MMR (a vaccine with far less disagreement & far more uncertainty) UNICEF wrote:
It is a shame we cannot live up to that standard now. Our fear has overtaken our compassion and sense.
I mean if you adjust the FDAs own risk/harm analysis to account for children who are healthy you'd have to vaccinate 12,000 to prevent 1 hospitalization. 3 Million to prevent one death. If I'm doing it right...but why is it me doing it and not the FDA? The world is upside down.
Vinay, You are too kind. The children are at no risk and the teachers are at less risk at school than virtually anywhere else in their lives. Your prior piece that laid this out was brilliant -- this is just more of the same. This is power-hungry/confused/fearful/stupid/use-whatever-excuse-you-want bureaucrats (including, sadly, medical bureaucrats) acting without regard to the consequences on some monomaniacal course where apparently the only important thing is "Covid". I am ashamed to be associated with these physicians these days although I personally keep trying to fight the good fight as do you. Thank goodness for places like Florida that have demonstrated with actual real-world experiments that this is all trash. How much of the US can ignore this real data and go on with these insane mandates I am unable to understand. For some reason it makes me feel better that you cannot understand them either. Wish there were more either/both of us could do.