As the Biden administration rolls out vaccines for the nation’s youngest children (6 months to 5-year-olds), Dr. Jeffrey Barke, chief medical officer at the Convention of States, said there is absolutely no evidence supporting that these youngest children are at any serious risk of death from COVID-19 and should not get be broadly vaccinated.
“I think it’s important that we tell the truth first, and then let parents and adults make informed decisions about whether or not to get vaccinated,” Barke said during a recent interview with NTD’s Capitol Report. “And to recommend this product to 6-month-olds makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. So, to start with, there is no COVID emergency, especially as it relates to younger people. It simply doesn’t exist.”
Barke referenced the CDC’s own website, saying that according to the CDC’s data, just over 1,000 children have died since the beginning of the pandemic as of the interview. “While every death of course is tragic, the reality is every one of those deaths occurred in a child that had significant underlying comorbidities. Healthy children simply do not die from this illness,” said Barke.
Meanwhile, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha made a contrary statement, saying that the infant vaccines “have been thoroughly tested. Millions of children above the age of 5 have gotten these vaccines. They’re exceedingly safe,” Jha told CBS News in a June 20 interview.
The CDC last Saturday signed off on giving both Moderna’s and Pfizer’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccines to infants and children between 6 months and 5 years old. It came after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel unanimously voted to authorize the use of the vaccines.
Jha also said while the majority of children likely have natural immunity, getting the vaccines will help keep children out of the hospital if they get it again.
The White House is echoing the FDA and CDC’s message to get young children vaccinated.
“COVID has been quite common in children actually. We think maybe almost 70 percent of kids have ended up getting infected with COVID, [but it’s] still worth getting the vaccine. It really offers an extra level of protection, an extra layer of protection,” said Jha.