No COVID vaccine for my kids, and here’s why (Opinion)
Yet another major decision for parents. The FDA is set to announce the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be available for 12 to 15-year-olds. It’s already been made available to 16-year-olds and up.
Now if you follow me here or you follow the Deminski & Doyle show Mondays through Fridays 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., you know that I believe in science. You know that I’m not one of these pandemic deniers, not one of these people who thinks Bill Gates is planting microchips in all of us through vaccines.
But you also know that I fully admit science is an evolution. One scientific discovery builds on another and science doesn’t always get it right. Case in point...because the novel coronavirus had never existed in humans before they at first believed masks weren't necessary but sanitizing surfaces was very important. The more they studied it the more they learned about it.
What they learned was that it clung to surfaces far less than, say, seasonal flu. But it was far more airborne. The virus far longer than they first thought and it was found masking to stop it completely but greatly slowed down the spread of microdroplets which carried it. But I wholeheartedly believe medical science does its best.
So will I get my two teenagers vaccinated against Covid? No. At least not yet.
Did I get vaccinated against Covid? Yes I absolutely did. The difference is I’m older and I’m a Type 1 diabetic. They are younger and don’t have any underlying conditions that would leave them so susceptible to the minuscule chance of dying even if they do contract the virus. Yes, it could happen, but the chances are extraordinarily remote.
Yes, I do believe that these coronavirus vaccines are overwhelmingly safe. Even the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that has been questioned regarding a few cases of blood clots. The medical community has determined that the good far outweighs the bad. But for these various vaccines, especially the one with the new mRNA technology and the first time it’s ever been used, science just cannot yet know if there are any long-term effects. I don’t think there will be. Yet I also cannot rule it out.
So do I want to take my 14-year-old daughter for a vaccine when the time she may want to have a child is still years away? Weighing the risk of serious harm to her by becoming infected versus the unknown regarding long-term effects I am choosing not to vaccinate a kid.
Now I understand this might make me a bad world citizen because I am not adding to the numbers vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. I do believe in the importance of herd immunity but I feel that it’s the adults' responsibility to receive the vaccines and not achieve herd immunity on the backs of the very young, just in case.
Taking our state of New Jersey as an example, 45% of the state's adult population have been fully vaccinated. The goal is to reach 70% by the end of next month. With 62% of adults already having received at least one vaccine dose I believe that we can cross that goal line without children being vaccinated.
That being said, I would never tell someone else not to vaccinate their child anymore than I would tell someone else to vaccinate their child. Yes, this vaccine was approved by the FDA but for emergency use only. Yes, I think it’s safe. Yes, I suspect even long-term it will most likely be safe. But as we do in so many other circumstances when we have children, we will take on risks and burdens that we would not ask our children to take on. What you do with your child is up to you.
It is expected the FDA will clear the Pfzier vaccine for kids 12 to 15 years old early next week. Pfzier reports in a clinical trial with more than 2,000 children in that age range, the vaccine was well tolerated and had an efficacy rate of a staggering 100%.
So will you vaccinate your kid? Take our poll below.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.