In last week’s issue, Dr. David Wisotsky attempted to provide information that would allay parents’ concerns regarding the COVID vaccine (“Should My Child Get the COVID Vaccine?” October 28, 2021). Unfortunately, what he may have done is further enforce why many are hesitant to inject their children with a vaccine that presents a far less compelling risk/reward scenario than that of vaccinating other age cohorts. To be sure, I am no anti-vaxxer. I recognize that vaccines have done immeasurable good in stemming the COVID pandemic.
The issue lies with the absoluteness with which Dr. Wisotsky and many of his colleagues speak. In the interest of keeping this somewhat concise, I won’t point out each instance where Dr. Wisotsky irresponsibly presents only one perspective of ongoing scientific research. However, his propensity for doing so calls his credibility into question in the eyes of those parents that have spent a significant amount of time researching a vaccine that is less than a year old and for which long term clinical studies cannot possibly have been conducted. Just one example of where Dr. Wisotsky does this can be found in his response to the vaccination vs. natural immunity question. Yes, the CDC recently came out with a study showing that vaccines may provide greater protection against COVID than that of naturally acquired immunity. However, another study out of Israel arrived at the exact opposite conclusion. In fact, the Israeli study found that vaccinated people were 27 times more likely to suffer a symptomatic case of the virus in comparison to those previously infected and recovered. Yet somehow Dr. Wisotsky knows with certainty that the information he has provided is correct.
Most parents asking vaccine-related questions of their children’s physicians are not themselves doctors, but they are certainly capable of obtaining information from credible sources that give rise to valid concerns. Unfortunately, too many parents are met with condescension and dismissal when presenting this information to certain pediatricians. They question how these doctors seem to know for certain the answers to so much that is still being debated within the medical and broader scientific community. For these parents, Dr. Wisotsky’s baseless proclamation that “This vaccine is probably the safest and most effective vaccine in the history of vaccine development” just serves to further diminish their confidence in the medical professionals with whom they have entrusted the welfare of their children.
I certainly hope that Dr. Wisotsky and his like minded colleagues have somehow seen into the future when presenting with certainty the long-term effects of injecting children with this vaccine. If, God forbid, they are wrong, the blame for any
damage caused will rest squarely on the heads of those physicians like Dr. Wisotsky, the schools and camps that blindly follow their directives, and this paper for printing their opinions.