Should FDA have approved Pfizer for 12-15 year olds?


Fact Box

  • As of Thursday, May 17, 2021, there have been 33.7 million coronavirus cases in the United States, with over 600 thousand reported deaths. 
  • The FDA authorized the Pfizer vaccine for 12 to 15-year-old minors on Monday, May 10, 2021.
  • According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, by May 6, 2021, the number of coronavirus cases of children totaled 3.8 million. Of all cases, 0% to .21% were child deaths, with 9 states reporting none.
  • There are currently three US COVID vaccines: Pfizer - BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Both Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines and require two doses, while Johnson & Johnson is a viral vector vaccine in one dose. 
  • Potential side effects of vaccines are well-known: fever, headache, dizziness, severe allergic reaction, and seizure. If a child has an allergic reaction to a certain vaccine, the primary care doctor will suspend the following dose.
  • Routine immunizations for children include 14 vaccines for vaccine-preventable diseases like the Chickenpox, Hepatitis, Polio, and Tetanus.

Morgan (Yes) 

According to CNN, 'The company said at the end of March that a clinical trial involving 2,260 12 to 15-year-olds showed the vaccine's efficacy is 100% [and] well-tolerated'. The FDA wouldn't have approved the vaccine for use in 12 to 15-year-olds if it wasn't just as safe for them as it is for older teenagers and adults. Pfizer has also been proven to be the most effective out of all three COVID-19 vaccines offered within the United States with a 95% capability of preventing COVID-19 infections. It is the best vaccine to have approved for this new age group. 

By vaccinating minors, the United States will speed up our return to normal by allowing another category of citizens to receive the vaccine. On top of having CDC and FDA support, the vaccination of 12 to 15-year-olds is also supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP President, Lee Savio Beers, said the vaccine will allow the United States 'to protect a large population of children and help them regain their lives after a really rough year.' 

Approving the vaccine for a younger age group means the younger generations will grow up in a world that has a strong defense against the coronavirus. In addition, children are notoriously active and less responsible when it comes to hygiene, and vaccinating them will help stop the spread of COVID-19 amongst them. Most of the country's school districts predict that schools will return to in-person instruction in the fall, and allowing this younger age group to get vaccinated will make this return to school safer and easier for everyone.

Bill (No)

It's shocking and sad that the FDA has granted Emergency Use Authorization for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to be used on 12 to 15-year-old minors. Children have virtually no risk from COVID even if they test positive for it. Children's immune systems have a 99.97% to 100% chance of keeping them safe from COVID. The FDA's action is particularly disturbing given the language that was used a year ago to justify the Emergency Use Authorization for vaccines for adults (that there is a public health emergency, or a significant potential for a public health emergency); COVID has never been a health emergency for children, and Pfizer's vaccine claims an efficacy rate of only 94% - 95% (well below that of a child's immune system).

Perhaps most alarming about the FDA's action is that it will subject children to the adverse effects of the vaccine, for which 4,434 reports of death have been logged in the past five months. In addition to the physical harm that children will be exposed to is the unknown psychological, mental, and emotional damage from the constant scare tactics employed by public officials and the media despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The CDC director warns of 'impending doom,' even though the COVID hospitalization rate for children between 5 and 17-years-old has never reached one in 100,000. Lastly, Pfizer forecasts $26 billion in revenue for 2021 for its COVID vaccine—taxpayers will be stuck with this bill as the government is sponsoring and promoting its distribution. There can’t be a more unjust use of taxpayer money than exposing innocent children to harm. It's unconscionable.

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