Barke referenced the CDC’s own website, saying that according to the CDC’s data, just over 1,000 children have died since the beginning of the pandemic as of the interview. “While every death of course is tragic, the reality is every one of those deaths occurred in a child that had significant underlying comorbidities. Healthy children simply do not die from this illness,” said Barke.
The CDC last Saturday signed off on giving both Moderna's and Pfizer's COVID-19 mRNA vaccines to infants and children between 6 months and 5 years old. It came after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel unanimously voted to authorize the use of the vaccines.
Jha also said while the majority of children likely have natural immunity, getting the vaccines will help keep children out of the hospital if they get it again.
The White House is echoing the FDA and CDC’s message to get young children vaccinated.
“COVID has been quite common in children actually. We think maybe almost 70 percent of kids have ended up getting infected with COVID, [but it's] still worth getting the vaccine. It really offers an extra level of protection, an extra layer of protection,” said Jha.
Barke disagreed with Jha and said there is a risk to young children from vaccines themselves because they have no long-term safety profiles.
“It's ridiculous what's going on here. And the part that makes me the saddest is the FDA and the CDC already have trust issues amongst the American public, and for them now to authorize and recommend that a 6-month-old receive a COVID-19 vaccine when they're not at risk, and there have been no long-term safety studies with these products, is going to erode whatever little trust is left in these organizations,” said Barke.
“[The vaccine] is experimental by definition. A product that's being used under emergency use [EU] authorization definitionally is investigational, and it makes no sense whatsoever. The EU authorization gives these vaccine companies blanket liability protection,” said Barke.
In addition, the virus has mutated since the vaccines were developed, so we don't know if these vaccines protect against strains like Omicron, Barke said.