We asked US Congressional Candidate Dr. Michael Goldstein for his take on covid vaccines and mandates for children aged 6 months to 5 years, and he shared this article with us in response. We thought you would be interested in reading it.
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I received this email from a voter in my district from their pediatrician’s office that appeared to “push” to vaccinate children under 5 now that there is “approval” for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and quantities are limited. The tone seems to press for urgency and sounds like a sales pitch and parents are not sure what to do. I have also learned that in a recent article in the Greenwich Times, Greenwich Hospital was the first hospital in the Yale New Haven Health System to offer and have vaccinated 78 children under the age of 5 with the “approved” Covid-19 vaccine. This program also has a marketing campaign, and a hashtag of a “Crush COVID-19” sticker to wear coupled with a "special vaccine passport” to carry around that allowed children to sign their names above a statement saying, “I did my part to #CrushCOVID by getting vaccinated.” This email to parents coupled with the hospital’s programs do not stand with my principles of informed consent, parental choice and freedom from vaccine mandates and other medical mandates. They also do not stand with the principles that have guided my services as a physician such as the Hippocratic Oath and to Do No Harm. As some may know, after consultation with my hematologist, I did not take the Covid vaccines and had to step away from two hospitals that I was on staff of due to their denial of my medical exemption. I see this push for a vaccine of our young children from the lens of both a parent and a physician. I believe that every parent should make that decision after having a discussion with their treating physician/pediatrician armed with all of the facts which results in an objective and informed consent. No parent’s decision should be motivated in response to sales and marketing emails or prizes for compliance. It should be from a data and science perspective. According to the publicly-available data, Pfizer reported their vaccine was 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19 and Moderna reported a 43.7% efficacy in children aged 6 months to 2 years and 37.5% in children aged 2 to 5 years. With respect to mortality, in 2020, in the United States there were 77 deaths from Covid from infants to 4 year olds and 218 deaths in 2021. In Connecticut, since Covid started, there were 9 childhood deaths through June 22, 2022, despite more than 178,000 infections in the same time frame. This data shows a reasonably high Covid-19 infection rate in Connecticut Children but the mortality rate from Covid-19 among children is extremely low. Parents should be aware of the published vaccine complication rates presented by the FDA in its Briefing Document EUA amendment request for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for use in children 6 months through 4 years of age. Note that “As of May 19, 2022, VAERS received 749,249 reports (including 385,218 US reports) following vaccination with Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine; 245 US reports were in children 6 months through 4 years of age, 10,740 US reports were in children ages 5-11 years, 15,160 US reports were in children ages 12-15 years, and 8,119 US reports were in children ages 16-17 years.” As parents, you should have the ultimate choice in medical care of your children. Your decisions should be made after a discussion with your child’s healthcare provider. The Covid-19 vaccine that is approved for use in children under age 5 is an Experimental Use Authorization (EUA). This is different than full FDA Approval and that should have been made clear in those emails to parents about using the term “approved”. As we emerge from this pandemic that is becoming endemic, the concern from a medical perspective is the ongoing damage to children’s development and mental health from being prevented from being children for more than two years and the issues stemming from being unable to express themselves through masks. We need to restore normalcy to our children’s educational experience and it should not be driven by mandates at the school level without judgments against parents for making medical decisions that they believe are in the best interests of their children. Such mandates and lack of parental choice in healthcare, workplace and educational settings are a core driver that motivated me to run for Congress and get out to the people to earn their support that has brought me to the Republican Primary on August 9th to take on Jim Himes.
— Dr. Michael Goldstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.