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Fact Check: Infants should not be vaccinated against COVID-19 due to potential long-term side effects.

Fact Check: Infants should not be vaccinated against COVID-19 due to potential long-term side effects.

Doctors recommend FDA and CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccines for infants, which are safe, effective, and don’t have any long-term harmful side effects.

Context:

A recent Facebook post attached a link to an article by Daily Skeptic, which discussed why infants should not be vaccinated against COVID-19. The article allegedly cites an open letter written by 76 doctors who list reasons why the U.S. decision to vaccinate infants should not happen. The letter focuses on several points: “Extremely low risk from COVID-19 to young children, Poor vaccine efficacy, Potential harms of COVID-19 vaccines for children, Informed consent, and Effect on public confidence.” The article itself focuses on the alleged harmful side effects caused by the vaccine.

In fact:

In June 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccination for children at least six months old.

Daily Skeptic cited a study alleging that 50 percent of adolescents died from myocarditis after receiving the Pfizer vaccine. However, it is clear on analysis of the report that the Daily Skeptic misquoted the data. The article cited a report by the FDA that studied Pfizer’s trials for developing its vaccine for infants. There were no reported myocarditis deaths during the trials due to the vaccine. On June 17, the FDA approved both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s vaccines and deemed them safe and effective to administer to infants. The side effects of the vaccines include “fatigue, headache, muscle ache, chills, nausea/vomiting, and joint stiffness,” FDA’s report said. According to the Mayo Clinic, there were few cases of adolescents who experienced myocarditis because the duration between the two doses was long, and their immunity was weak.

The article stated that infants do not need the vaccine because they are less susceptible to COVID-19. It cited reports from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) stating that the number of children infected in 2021 was negligible. As of March 2022, according to the ONS, “High levels of antibody positivity among secondary school children were driven by both vaccination and natural infection.” 81.6 percent of unvaccinated secondary school children tested positive in March 2022 in the U.K. According to Johns Hopkins, COVID-19 has a less serious consequence in children when compared to adults. Yet, doctors recommend that children get vaccinated to help prevent or reduce the spread of infection.

CDC, FDA, and other credible medical organizations have proven the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines. In May 2022, the New England Journal of Medicine evaluated the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in children between 6-11 years of age. According to the study, COVID-19 vaccines are 95 percent effective for the age group. Studies about the efficacy of vaccines for children are still ongoing.

The Daily Skeptic article also states that the government and vaccine companies are not informing the public about the need for consent for children and not presenting factual data about the vaccines. The U.K. government has clearly stated that infants’ parents are responsible for granting consent for a vaccine. The Daily Skeptic is known to spread conspiracy theories and misquote data from companies like Pfizer. Logically has previously debunked some of its claims.

The verdict:

Recent studies and data have shown that some COVID-19 vaccines are safe for infants. Data published by conspiracy theory websites are misquoted and spread an anti-vaccine narrative. Hence, we have marked this claim as false.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

Source: Logically.

Ministerial appointments: 5 July 2022

Ministerial appointments: 5 July 2022

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