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Concerned Doctors of Alabama called for the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) to stop offering the COVID-19 vaccine to children. The group has also requested a meeting with Alabama’s state health officer, Dr. Scott Harris.
On Friday, May 20, ADPH recommended that children between the ages of 5 and 11 receive a COVID-19 booster in addition to the vaccine. Previously the FDA approved children’s boosters due to the ongoing pandemic, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children ages five and up be vaccinated and receive a booster five months later.
Concerned Doctors of Alabama, a group formed by doctors across the state, are skeptical of the official CDC recommendation regarding vaccination along with some of the treatment protocols for the disease.
Dr. David Williams, a member of the Concerned Doctors group, questioned whether the vaccine carries greater risk than the disease in healthy children.
"It is well past time we started following the science with COVID-19,” Dr. Williams said. “All of us have treated patients - some of us in the thousands - so we understand it is a serious and sometimes fatal illness. But the risk varies depending on the patient population. I am so thankful that our children have borne minimal disease burden. With few exceptions, healthy children do very well. So, we should not subject them to technologies that remain poorly studied with regard to long-term effects, especially when the short-term effects, most notably myocarditis, sudden death and neurological complications, are potentially devastating.”
Dr. Stewart Tankersley, another member of Concerned Doctors, explained, “We want to have a dialogue” about the issue.
Concerned Doctors cited a European analysis which showed a risk of hospitalization due to myopericarditis among boys aged 12 to 15 after the second dose of the vaccine occurred at a higher rate than the risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19.
“International estimates of post-vaccine risk exceed the highest COVID-19 hospitalization risk by 6.5 times,” Concerned Doctors wrote. “As stated by Dr. Bose Ravenel, a retired private practice pediatrician of 37 years and Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the UNC Department of Pediatrics (1976-1987), 'There is no rational argument or empirical data to justify administering these ‘warp-speed’ developed vaccines to young children who are at near-zero statistical risk for death or serious disease from the virus. Proceeding forward with experimental COVID vaccines for children is reckless and poses an unacceptable risk-to-benefit profile.'"
Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky is the Director of the CDC. On Thursday, May 19, Dr. Walensky signed the order to approve and recommend emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11.
“Children 5 through 11 should receive a booster dose at least five months after their primary series,” wrote Dr. Walensky. “Vaccination with a primary series among this age group has lagged behind other age groups leaving them vulnerable to serious illness. With over 18 million doses administered in this age group, we know that these vaccines are safe, and we must continue to increase the number of children who are protected. I encourage parents to keep their children up to date with CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.”
The next day, ADPH made the same recommendation.
“With cases increasing, it is important that all people have the protection they need, which is why, today, CDC has also strengthened another booster recommendation,” Walensky added. “Those 50 and older and those who are 12 and older and immunocompromised should get a second booster dose.”
A copy of the Concerned Doctors of Alabama letter was also sent to Gov. Kay Ivey (R) and the Medical Association for the State of Alabama.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.
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