A remark made by a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) adviser is "the most dangerous statement I've ever heard in medicine," the only active practicing physician in Congress said in a new interview.
Dr. Eric Rubin, editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, and an associate physician specializing in infectious disease at Brigham and Women's Hospital, sits on the administration's vaccine advisory panel.
Before the panel voted this week to advise the FDA to authorize Pfizer's COVID-19 jab for kids 5 to 11, Rubin said, in part: “We’re never going to learn about how safe this vaccine is unless we start giving it. That’s just the way it goes. That’s how we found out about rare complications of other vaccines, like the rotavirus vaccine.”
"How's that going to sit with the average mom, the average parent that cares about their child? That they want their child experimented on?" he added.
Rubin's remarks were clipped by various people and widely circulated on social media, with some users saying it showed that the vaccine should not be given to children.
Asked about the criticism, Rubin told The Epoch Times in an email: “The clinical trial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children showed no adverse events. All data to date indicate that it is safe. It will prevent the hospitalization of children with severe disease, as it does with adults. The vaccine works, and saves lives.”
Rubin said after the vote that surveillance systems would be crucial in learning "how safe" the Pfizer jab is for children.
"We decided to go for it with a lot of heavy conscience. But I'm hoping that this is the start of learning more about it," he said.
Murphy and Rubin did agree on one point, that COVID-19 vaccines should not be mandated for young children at this point due to the lack of safety data. Several other FDA advisers also said this week they are opposed to mandating the vaccine for young kids at this time.
Murphy, speaking to NTD, noted a key difference between COVID-19 and diseases that children routinely receive vaccines for early in their life.
"The vaccines that we have for children are measles, mumps, rubella, those things that we give kids, we have to have them before they go to school. And I agree with that, that's fine. But the problem is, those are childhood diseases. COVID is not a childhood disease. It can affect children, but its lethality rate is infinitesimal compared to what it is in adults," said Murphy, who practices at the Vidant Medical Center, a 1,000-bed level 1 trauma center.
"I just don't understand why it's being pushed on kids so much," he added, predicting a federal mandate for kids soon just to go to school. "We don't mandate that kids get the flu vaccine to go to school. We don't mandate that kids have the HPV vaccine. So I just don't understand the biology and the virology for this."