I’m afraid this wording - which slips off the tongue far too easily - is yet another example of bioethical decay driven by hysteria

“Should we vaccinate children”?

....is ridiculously authoritarian sounding.
The correct approach would be as set out below:

Once proper long-term safety studies inc juvenile animal studies, reproductive toxicity studies and so on have been done, safety can be evaluated in a calm and rational manner.
Then - in say 3-5 years, which is how long adequate safety studies to support childhood use should take, the risks of Covid at that time to the individual children concerned can be weighed against the risks from the vaccine.
And then, and only then, parents can be offered - with fully informed consent - the chance for their children to receive vaccination.
Pandremrix (swine flu) caused narcolepsy in children at a rate of 1 in 55k, which was rightly regarded as totally unacceptable.

The safety data for each Covid vaccine in trials so far is in ~20k for ~4 months in adults.

Covid risks are less than flu risks for children.
So in the analysis of risks v benefits which must accompany any intervention, there’s not much on the benefit side of the ledger since the risks to children are near to zero anyway.
What about the benefits to others?

Well as a matter of ethics, is this really where we want to be?

Enforcing one unknown risk on a group who cannot adjudge risk-benefit to make another group feel a little safer?
In any event, transmission reduction hasn’t really been established.

It might well be, but we shouldn’t be dealing in hunches when talking about such a serious step.
But let’s say it did: why can’t the vulnerable who desire the protection be vaccinated instead?

We are being told constantly that these vaccines nearly completely eliminate the risk of serious Covid after all.
It seems to me that arguing now for “vaccinating children”, especially in terms that suggest mandates or coercion, is evidence of hysterical overreaction and loss of proportionality.

I hope it’s “peak hysteria” - though sadly I somehow doubt it.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Jonathan Engler

Jonathan Engler Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @jengleruk

27 Jan
One other thing worth noting - thanks @duncangolicher - are the huge differences in death rates between different countries - eg the background death rate for 15-64 year olds is 50% higher in England & Wales than in Sweden.

Look at left hand scale on these charts (2019 data).
Yes, 50% more people (per 100k population) between 15 and 64 die per year in England / Wales than in Sweden.
Yet here we are, saddling our children with £billions of debt spent on unproven counter-productive measures to try to defeat the undefeatable, and simultaneously running our economy, public health and education systems into the ground.
Read 4 tweets
26 Jan
I strongly recommend this app for mortality analysis between countries:

Just started using it, but one thing that really stood out for me was the difference between death rates between countries in the 15-64 year age groups.

This is an age group which has contributed a very small proportion to the number of deaths attributed to Covid19.
The death rate for that age group - with the previous 10 years also shown - for 2020 for Sweden looks like this:
Read 7 tweets
22 Jan
Just wondering if this has observations for the vaccine trials as noted by Peter Doshi in the BMJ: blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/01/04…

The efficacy data for the Pfizer trial comes from 162 "cases" in the placebo group vs 8 in the vaccinated group, where a "case" was [symptoms + postive PCR]
It's worth noting that the subjects who had symptoms and underwest a PCR test are dwarfed by subjects who had symptoms and (for whatever reason - it hasn't been reported) never underwent PCR confirmation.
These number 1594 in the vaccine group vs. 1816 in the placebo group.

In other words, <5% of all the subjects who had suspected Covid underwent confirmatory testing.
Read 4 tweets
14 Jan
A few weeks ago @ClareCraigPath, @RealJoelSmalley and I wrote a short piece on endemic Covid, and what it might look like.

It seems particularly relevant to current observations.

Consider the possibility that all our naso-pharynxes together make up a single ecosystem, in which only one predator can be completely dominant.

We are not saying that this has definitely happened with Covid - but it would explain the disappearance of flu this year.
Every winter, we see "excess deaths" in the sense that more (mainly elderly) people die in the winter than in the summer.

This is a worldwide phenomenon.
Read 25 tweets
11 Jan
Interesting thanks, but can we really comment on misunderstandings relating to comparisons between vaccines while ignoring the elephant in the room:

Relative v Absolute risk reduction?

The vaccines are being pushed on the former while apparently nobody dare speak of the latter.
Pre-2020, it would have been unarguable that consenting to a medical treatment should always be on the basis that the individual gives fully informed consent.

Fully informed involves describing risks v benefits.

I am not commenting in this thread on risks, only on benefits.
Effects on infection rates and transmissibility have not been demonstrated in these trials - only symptom reduction.

Hence any societal benefit via herd immunity is purely speculative, and ethically unjustifiable as the basis of coercion (which is unjustifiable anyway).
Read 17 tweets
10 Jan
To complete the picture, the AZ vaccine.

The pertinent data is at page 7 of: assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/upl…
In this table:
There were some dosing issues in relation to this trial, but the data for any dose (ie all data combined) shows that:

So, in terms of any Covid the results are that:

227 / 10k on placebo developed any Covid


108 / 10k on active vaccine

Hence the 52% overall efficacy.
Read 7 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!