White House's Jha Spreads Misinformation about COVID & Kids
The real question is FUTURE RISK and do vaccines lower it
Recently someone wrote a bad blog post arguing that COVID was worse than flu for kids. The post contained elementary errors, which are detailed here. It would not have made the news had it not been for the fact that Ashish Jha, the White House COVID czar, and somebody who should know better, retweeted it. This lead outlets like Bloomberg to uncritically cover it.
But talking about a bad blog has moved us away from the real truth about kids, covid, vaccination, etc. Here are the facts, as far as I can tell
Most healthy kids already have had covid19. The CDC's estimate prior to recent infections was that over 75% had antibodies to COVID-19 from infection. These antibodies are not present in everyone who recovered from COVID-19, as demonstrated by a recent NIH paper, so 75% is the floor. Top this off with more infections. We are likely nearing 90% plus who have been exposed to COVID-19.
It should be obvious: Once you have had COVID-19, the likelihood you will get it again and suffer a severe outcome is super low.
The key question going forward is what is the risk to kids from COVID19 in the future? To some degree, it depends on variants, but all available evidence would suggest the risk to healthy children was already very low, and it is only lower with widespread natural immunity.
Now, let's consider vaccination. In a properly functioning society, you would run a randomized control trial of vaccines and kids powered for severe diseases as the endpoint. This is not unreasonable, as the polio vaccine was studied in randomized trials that included over 400,000. That was also a long time ago. As time goes on, evidence gets better, typically. It's not impossible to run a randomized control trial of a quarter million children powered for severe disease. But the FDA didn't demand that. They failed. Two people who work there resigned. The primary endpoint of the study we got is non-inferior antibodies. That's pretty worthless. So no one can say we have randomized control trial data showing a reduction in severe disease. That is sad.
Observational studies are often used to justify vaccinating kids. But these are hopelessly flawed. The parents who rushed out to vaccinate their five to 11-year-olds are fundamentally different than those who did not. Their kids are very different. You can't trust any of these studies. But that said, does anyone have a study that actually shows even in observational cohorts that there's a reduction in severe disease or hospitalization in healthy five to 11-year-olds? I haven't seen it.
The vaccine targets the old Wuhan strain. It's not targeting the actual circulating strain. Which by the way most kids have already had. So what evidence do we have that the vaccine will further lower the risk of severe disease or death in these kids? The answer is we have no such evidence.
Vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease fades fast with time. This has been shown in many observational cohorts, and particularly for Omicron.
Putting these together. The conclusion is inescapable. It is entirely reasonable to wait for more data before vaccinating children. It is super reasonable for a healthy child who already had COVID-19 to wait. Mandates would be mistaken, and an abuse of power. And people who promote fear-mongering statistics to try to scare people into vaccinating are doing a grave disservice. Their irresponsible actions will harm faith in public health and science going forward. I truly doubt their ability to think about data.
Going forward everyone should remember that the people who failed are the employees of the US food and drug administration because they did not compel the manufacturer of multi-billion dollar products to run clinical trials capable of adjudicating the efficacy of those products in low-risk populations. Running large randomized control trials is actually more necessary in the population at lowest risk than the population at highest risk.
These are just the facts about where we are. It's actually pretty sad from an evidence-based medicine point of view.
Vinay, Recall that the initial Pfizer study did not measure anything important -- only antibody levels. Patients with problems were randomly "dropped". Side effects were ignored. While there were short (weeks or months long) reductions in mortality for those 80+ from the spikeshots, it is unclear that anyone else has benefitted. And the various cardiac, neurologic, reproductive, hematologic and immunologic long-term effects are yet to be seen.
The pediatric studies have shown no deaths so they cannot be quantitated as working in the real world at all. To the best of my knowledge even in the Real World there are no pediatric deaths without major comorbidities. Just a handful of children with increased antibodies to a spike that has not been around for years.
This all smacks of fraud not only in pharma, but more so in FDA, NIAID and CDC and it is likely time to start calling it that. Following the money ($350M anyone from Pharma back to government employees whose salaries we pay?) makes it easy to understand. The "study" documents used for authorizing the spikeshots are still mostly unseen. We may see them (highly redacted for all the important information, incidentally) over the next year, even though the FDA and Pfizer sued to hold the release for 75 years (Has anyone seen Biden's speech on "it all has to be transparent before a single shot goes in" speech?) Those released so far (obviously those the least noxious) indicate massive problems with the program. They also destroyed (with the FDA's complicity) the control group the day after the very short trial (which did not measure outcomes other than Ab levels) by injecting the control group. Unforgivable non-science.
It also makes it easy to understand why the last two ethical FDA managers (who ran the vaccine program) resigned in disgust rather than participate in further fraud. I wish they would speak more, but I expect they fear for their lives...and I mean that literally.
The only reason there is such a strong move for pediatric approval for the spikeshot is to provide permanent legal immunity to the pharmas under the vaccine liability act. Until it is on the pediatric immunization schedule, there are still bases to sue, although they are tenuous. It is also why there has NEVER been a Comirnaty dose dispensed in the US, even though they have FDA approval. They keep giving the "Emergency Use" drug because it is also exempt from liability. This is a year after approval and not ONE dose given of the approved drug? And the American public stands for this shell game? This is all just a lawyer's play to make sure that the pharmas are completely permanently relieved of any harms the spikeshots may be causing.
As you have pointed out, the government has proven beyond a doubt that the people for whom they are NOT working are US citizens, especially the children. They are taking their own on-the-side money, lying to the populace, and doing whatever they darn well please irrespective of anything having to do with evidence or science. They clearly just do not care.
The saddest part is that they have dragged most of the medical community (thanks for being a rare exception) into the same gutter -- in substantial part the tragedy of doctors being salaried so instead of looking out for their patients they can have "work/life balance"...(don't get me started on that rant). So they must obey. But as Nuremburg demonstrated, that will not be an excuse when the accountability begins.
But it is sad. Not only should public health NEVER get any credibility back (they do not deserve to) it will take generations for the medical profession to get any back...and that is a loss for patients and doctors.
We have to keep saying it. The FDA has to be held accountable for their actions. So does the WH. We can’t shake our heads and walk away— nothing will change. I’ll be reading, liking, commenting, and sharing every single one of these posts.