From our nation’s greatest scientist… “Fauci: Vaccines for Kids as Young as First Graders Could Be Authorized by September” (ProPublica, Feb 11):
Children as young as first graders may be able to get the coronavirus vaccine by the time school starts in September, presuming trials are successful in those age groups, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview with ProPublica.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has been “really advocating to try and make these trials happen with the same urgency that they happen for adults,” said Dr. Sean O’Leary, who is vice chair of its committee on infectious diseases.
It’s essential to act expeditiously, O’Leary said. “I would love to see a vaccine available for all children in time for the next school year.”
So a top pediatrician wants to stick kids as soon as the paperwork is dry from the laser printer. What do the folks who make vaccines say? From moderna (headquartered in the office building that formerly housed the MIT AI and CS labs; also, some of the precursors to the vaccine are being supplied by an MIT AI-lab spinoff that received $1.1 billion from the Trump administration):
If the product is not approved, what is it?
Moderna is committed to safety and ensuring that people have accurate information about the investigational Moderna COVID‑19 Vaccine, including how it is accessed and administered.
The effects are still being investigated, in other words, and the vaccine will actually become illegal to use if Uncle Joe declares that coronaplague is no longer an emergency, but if you’re old/fat/sick and worried about dying from COVID-19 maybe you still want it.
How about children? As noted in Maskachusetts: When people aren’t scared enough, change the Covid-19 dashboard, nobody under age 18 had ever died of/with COVID-19 in a heavily plagued state of 7 million through mid-August 2020. But it would appear that we need to revise Is it ethical for a physician to vaccinate a healthy 20-year-old against COVID-19? from age 20 down to age 6.
(For the record, as a somewhat old (57), somewhat fat (6′ tall and wallowing right about 200 lbs.) person I am mildly enthusiastic about vaccines for myself. On the other hand, when the dust settles, I think that the President of Tanzania will prove to have offered the wisest prediction: “If the white man was able to come up with vaccinations, he should have found a vaccination for Aids, cancer and TB by now,” said Mr Magufuli (BBC). Consistent with this leader’s prediction, I think that our fight with coronavirus will work out roughly the same as our fight with influenza. The BBC article itself is interesting. Tanzanians are stupid because they aren’t putting all of their energy, resources, and cash into fighting COVID-19. But roughly half of Tanzanians live on less than $2/day. If you lived on $2/day, would coronaplague be your #1 focus?)
[Update: I showed this post to a medical school professor friend. Who’s more like to be correct, Anthony Fauci or the President of Tanzania? “The Tanzanian.” Does it make sense to vaccinate schoolchildren against COVID-19? “Not from a medical point of view. We have no idea what these vaccines will do to their immune systems in the long run. It makes sense to vaccinate old people who have a substantial risk of being harmed by COVID-19.” Could vaccinating children cut down on the ability of the virus to mutate? “Yes,” he replied. “The more times the virus is replicating, the more potential for mutation.” (Which also means we’ll need border closures forever because inevitably there will be some countries where vaccination is uncommon and coronavirus is allowed to do whatever it wants?)]