COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for Children ‘Concerning,’ Says Epidemiologist

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Mandating COVID-19 vaccines for children may not be a good idea at this time because of side effects linked to the shots, an epidemiologist says.

California on Oct. 1 announced that all students in the state will need a jab once the vaccines are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for their age group. Currently, the Pfizer vaccine, the only one to receive approval, is approved for anybody 16 or older.

Around the same time, multiple school boards in California, including the Sacramento City Unified School District, went further and required jabs for all students aged 12 and up.

“I’m concerned about that,” said Dr. Tracy Høeg, an epidemiologist and public health expert whose son goes to school in the district.

Høeg led a study that examined reports submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and found boys between 12 and 15 with no serious health conditions were up to six times more likely to land in a hospital after getting a second Pfizer’s shot than after getting COVID-19.

That’s because heart inflammation, or myocarditis or pericarditis, occurs at a higher-than-expected rate post-vaccination in youth, especially young males.

“I’m afraid that parents who have questions about the safety—maybe they are concerned, they have a son who might who might be at risk for myocarditis—will then really not have a say in whether or not the child gets a second dose,” Høeg said.

“This is particularly an issue for children who have already been infected, because from what we know, they likely have very strong immunity already to COVID-19. And so I’m concerned about the nuance and the discussion being lost, and people feeling like they’re coerced into vaccinating their child in order for them to have a normal life and stay in school,” she added.

Høeg was speaking on NTD’s “Wide Angle.”

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