COVID-19 Vaccine Risks May Outweigh Benefits for Healthy Children: New Florida Guidance

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
March 8, 2022 Updated: March 8, 2022

New guidance from Florida’s top health official says parents should know healthy children might be more at risk from a COVID-19 vaccine than from COVID-19 itself.

The guidance (pdf), issued a day after it was announced, notes that children without comorbidities are at little risk of developing severe COVID-19 and that youth are at heightened risk of experiencing heart inflammation following receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The guidance also points to how many children across the country have contracted COVID-19 and recovered, granting them some level of immunity, and that some studies have indicated that people with such immunity are more likely to suffer side effects if they then get vaccinated.

Health care practitioners need to “analyze existing data on the COVID-19 vaccine alongside parents when deciding to vaccinate children,” Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo said in a statement.

“Based on currently available data, the risks of administering COVID-19 vaccination among healthy children may outweigh the benefits. That is why these decisions should be made on an individual basis, and never mandated,” he added.

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

Ladapo on Monday, during a roundtable he hosted with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, informed the public that Florida’s Department of Health would become the first health agency in the nation to recommend against COVID-19 vaccines for healthy children.

Some other countries either bar some children from getting a jab or recommend they receive a certain shot because of concerns of side effects coupled with the fact youth face a much lower risk of hospitalization and death when compared to older age groups.

Dr. Tracy Hoeg, a researcher who co-authored a study that found risks are higher than the benefit for healthy boys for the second shot of a messenger-RNA-based vaccine, and that the risks are higher after even one shot for healthy boys who have natural immunity, said during the roundtable that “the argument for vaccinating children for that for the societal benefit is not what it used to be” because of waning effectiveness and more knowledge concerning side effects.

For the estimated 58 percent of children who have already had COVID-19, “We don’t know if they benefit from from being vaccinated on top of already having infection,” she said.

Recently published studies indicate that Pfizer’s vaccine, the only one authorized in the United States for those aged 17 and younger, doesn’t protect well against infection after several weeks or months.

The data prompted Dr. Cody Meissner, who voted in 2021 with nearly every other Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisory panel to recommend vaccines for virtually all children, to tell The Epoch Times that it appears “the benefit roughly equals the risk of harm” for many children.

Pfizer didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Many health professionals continue to urge parents to get their children vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says all children aged 5 and older should get Pfizer’s vaccine, and all children between the ages of 12 and 17 should get a booster at least five months after the second shot of the primary regimen.

“COVID-19 vaccines for children have proven to be extremely safe and effective,” Dr. Paul Spearman, the director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, told The Epoch Times in an email.

Regarding the new studies, Spearman said the findings that many children still had protection of 51 percent or higher against hospitalization means “the benefits of vaccination for our children continue to far outweigh the risks.”

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.