Lucien Wiggins, 12, arrived at Tufts Children’s Hospital by ambulance June 7 with chest pains, dizziness and high levels of a protein in his blood that indicated inflammation of his heart. The symptoms had begun a day earlier, the morning after his second vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA shot.
For Dr. Sara Ross, chief of pediatric critical care at the Boston hospital, the event confirmed a doubt she’d been nursing: Was the country pushing its luck by vaccinating children against covid at a time when the disease was relatively mild in the young — and skepticism of vaccines was frighteningly high?
“I have practiced pediatric ICU for almost 15 years and I have never taken care of a single patient with a vaccine-related complication until now,” Ross told KHN. “Our standard for safety seems to be different for all the other vaccines we expose children to.”
To be sure, cases of myocarditis like Lucien’s have been rare, and the reported side effects, though sometimes serious, generally resolve with pain relievers and, sometimes, infusions of antibodies. And a covid infection itself is far more likely than a vaccine to cause myocarditis, including in younger people.
Lucien went home, on the mend, after two days on intravenous ibuprofen in intensive care. Most of the 800 or so cases of heart problems among all ages reported to a federal vaccine safety database through May 31 followed a similar course. Yet the pattern of these cases — most occurred in young males after the second Pfizer or Moderna shot — suggested that the ailment was caused by the vaccine, rather than being coincidental.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine advisory committee is set to meet to discuss the possible link and whether it merits changing its recommendations for vaccinating teenagers with the Pfizer vaccine, which the Food and Drug Administration last month authorized for children 12 and older. A similar authorization for the Moderna vaccine is pending, and both companies are conducting clinical trials that will test their vaccines on children as young as 6 months old.
At a meeting last week of an FDA advisory committee, vaccine experts suggested that the agency require the pharmaceutical companies to hold larger and longer clinical trials for the younger age groups. A few said FDA should hold off on authorizing vaccination of younger children for up to a year or two.
Interestingly, Lucien and his mother, Beth Clarke, of Rochester, New Hampshire, disagreed. Her son’s reaction was “odd,” she said, but “I’d rather him get a side effect [that doctors] can help with than get covid and possibly die. And he feels that way, which is more important. He thinks all his friends should get it.”
Data regarding covid’s impact on the young is somewhat messy, but at least 300 covid-related deaths and thousands of hospitalizations have been reported in children under 18, which makes covid’s toll as large or larger than any childhood disease for which a vaccine is currently available. The American Academy of Pediatrics wants children to receive the vaccine, assuming tests show it is safe.
But healthy people under 18 have generally not suffered major covid effects, and the number of serious cases among the young has tumbled as more adults become vaccinated. Unlike other pathogens, such as influenza, children are generally not infecting older, vulnerable adults. Under these circumstances, said Dr. Cody Meissner — who as chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Tufts consulted on Lucien’s case — the benefits of covid vaccination at this point may not outweigh the risks for children.
“We all want a pediatric vaccine, but I’m concerned about the safety issue,” Meissner told fellow advisory commission members last week. An Israeli study found a five- to 25-fold increase in the heart ailment among males ages 16-24 who were vaccinated with the Pfizer shot. Most recovered within a few weeks. Two deaths occurred in vaccinated men that don’t appear to have been linked to the vaccine.
Young people could experience long-term effects from the suspected vaccine side effect such as scarring, irregular heartbeat or even early heart failure, Meissner said, so it makes sense to wait until the gravity of the problem becomes clearer.
“Could the disease come back this fall? Sure. But the likelihood I think is pretty low. And our first mandate is do no harm,” he said.
Ross said the biggest pandemic threats to children that her ICU has witnessed are drug overdoses and mental illness brought on by the shutdown of normal life.
“Young children are not the vectors of disease, nor are they driving the spread of the epidemic,” Ross said. While eventually everyone should be vaccinated against covid, use of the vaccines should not be expanded to children without extensive safety data, she said.
The government could authorize childhood vaccination against covid without recommending it immediately, noted Dr. Eric Rubin, an advisory committee member who is editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. “In September, when kids are back in school, people are indoors, and the vaccination rates are very low in certain parts of the country, who knows what things are going to look like? We may want this vaccine.”
Moderna and Pfizer this summer began testing their vaccines in younger kids. A Pfizer spokesperson said the company expects to give about 2,250 children ages 6 months-11 years vaccine as part of its trial; Moderna said it would vaccinate about 3,500 children in the 2-11 age range.
Some members of the FDA advisory committee proposed that up to 10,000 kids be included in each trial. But Marion Gruber, leader of the FDA’s vaccine regulatory office, pointed out that even trials that large wouldn’t necessarily detect a side effect as rare as myocarditis seems to be.
At some point, federal regulators and the public must decide how much risk they are willing to accept from vaccines versus the risk of a covid virus that continues to spread and mutate around the world, said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“We’re going to need a highly vaccinated population for years or perhaps decades,” Offit said at the meeting. “It seems hard to imagine that we won’t have to vaccinate children going forward.”
Ross argued that it makes more sense to selectively vaccinate children who are most at-risk for serious covid disease, such as those who are obese or have diabetes. Yet even to raise questions about the vaccination program can be a freighted decision, she said. While authorities have a duty to speak frankly about the safety of vaccines, there is also a responsibility not to frighten the public in a way that discourages them from seeking protection.
A 10-day pause in the Johnson & Johnson vaccination campaign in April, while authorities investigated a link to an occasionally fatal blood-clotting disorder, led to a major decline in public confidence in that vaccine, although as of late May authorities had detected only 28 cases among 8.7 million U.S. recipients of the vaccine. Because of the declining appetite for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, millions of doses are in danger of passing their use-by date in refrigerators around the country.
Focusing too much attention on potential harms from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for children could have a tragic result, said Dr. Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health and an expert on vaccine hesitancy. “Very soon we could be in a situation where we really need to vaccinate this population, but it will be too late because you’ve already given the message that we should not be doing it,” he said.
Eventually, perhaps next year, K-12 mandates might be called for, said Dr. Sean O’Leary, a professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Colorado. “There’s so much misinformation and propaganda spreading that people are reticent to go there, to further poke the hornet’s nest,” he said. But once there is robust safety data for children, “when you think about it, there’s no logical or ethical reason why you wouldn’t.”
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New Conservative Network Seeks Crowdfunding Help
They say we have to go big or go home. We’re trying to go big and bring the patriotic truth the the nation, but we need help.
Readers may or may not realize that over the past year, we’ve been bringing more conservative news and opinion outlets under our wing. Don’t take our expansion as a sign of riches; all of the “acquisitions” have been through sweat and promises of greater things to come for all involved. As a result, we’ve been able to bring together several independent media sites under a unified vision of preventing America from succumbing to the progressive, “woke,” Neo-Marxist ideologies that are spreading like wildfire across America.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $3000-$7000 per month. In other words, we’re in the red and hemorrhaging.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring the truth to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going.
Thank you and God Bless,
Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
To those who have the means, we ask that you please donate. We have options available now, but there is no telling when those options will cancel us. We just launched a new GiveSendGo page. We also have our GivingFuel page. There have been many who have been canceled by PayPal, but for now it’s still an option. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!
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JD Rucker – EIC