A thought on vaccines | Guest column

by Andre Entermann

Lopez Island

I would like to first express my gratitude for the editor who actually published this “Letter to the Editor” as I haven’t seen anything reflecting some of the other considerations in regards to the COVID vaccine. If the health authorities like Frank James wants those who are “vaccine-hesitant” to get off the fence there needs to be more acknowledgment of the legitimate questions and concerns about this vaccine in particular.

In 1988, after vaccine companies were getting sued left and right, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) was created to pay people out of a fund from adverse reactions to vaccines. This in essence gave the vaccine companies “immunity” from liabilities around those reactions. Established in 1990, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a national early warning system to detect possible safety problems in U.S.-licensed vaccines.

Whether you trust this system or not, it’s the only one we have, and to date (June 10), the COVID vaccine has caused over 200,000 adverse reactions and 4,436 deaths in just five or six months. Of course, you should ask, “What is an adverse event, a rash?” Well, it sounds like it can be anything, but it is still something to make you think when 4,436 folks have died. Of course, that’s a lot less than those who have died from COVID, but it is unheard of with a vaccine. What I’m mostly getting at is about our children and is what Dr. Paul Alexander, a former U.S. Health and Human services advisor under the Trump administration, told Fox News host Laura Ingram it’s ‘reckless’ to vaccinate children for COVID-19. Kids have a 1 in 50,000 chance of dying if they’re COVID-infected, he added. “The risk to children is so small, there is no reason to put our children in harm’s way at this point.”

To date, the CDC shows only 295 deaths from COVID itself in the whole nation for those 17 years old and younger. And I would guess with pre-existing conditions. A grace that our kids have been mostly spared. It’s sad that we lost those lives yes, but out of 330 million people in the U.S., it’s not worth the risk of what the side effects may be with certain kids, namely the ones that do have a compromised immune system.

Putting pressure on teenagers to get vaccinated so we can finally put those masks away is not appropriate. I hope Frank James doesn’t say the same thing with the 12 and under. And let’s please let those beautiful faces be free of masks if they so choose.

I’d hope everyone can make an informed decision, and be sensible and question the need to vaccinate our children for COVID. I’m really worried about this. Children 11 and under are not a particular concern as the last article from SJC stated.

The way forward, I believe, is ultimately to respect each other’s vaccination decisions and move on.

Editor’s note:

Updated on Fridays, as of June 11, there have been 4,588 COVID vaccine-related deaths reported to VAERS. Of those, 3,262 reported deaths are of people ages 65 and older. More than half of those are 80 and older. As of June 15, more than 47.5 million people over the age of 65 had received their first COVID vaccine dose.

As of June 11, 11 children under the age of 18 have died after receiving the COVID vaccine, according to reports made to VAERS. According to the CDC, more than 7.6 million children have received at least one dose of the vaccine. It is worth noting, “VAERS is a passive reporting system, meaning it relies on individuals to send in reports of their experiences. Anyone can submit a report to VAERS, including parents and patients.” As of June 10, the American Academy of Pediatricians reported 330 child deaths in the United States due to the virus itself, out of approximately 4 million childhood COVID cases domestically. That means one in 12,500 childhood COVID cases results in death. Dr. Alexander was also previously quoted as being a proponent of herd immunity.