I would like to thank the Wisotsky brothers for their thoughtful responses to my letter.
Let me start by acknowledging and thanking Dr. David Wisotsky for his 45 years of dedication to our children and for his immeasurable positive impact on our community.
I appreciate that Dr. Wisotsky took issue with the words I used to describe how he and his colleagues respond to parents’ questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, I don’t believe that Dr. Wisotsky and some of his colleagues intend to condescend to these parents. However, I have not only experienced this myself, but others have expressed a similar sentiment to me—in increasing numbers since The Jewish Link printed my letter—and have gone so far as to say that they are afraid to raise this topic with their childrens’ pediatricians for fear of confrontation.
Mr. Max Wisotsky spoke about approaching this topic from a scientific standpoint. With that in mind, here are a few examples of well-respected resources, physicians and scientists providing their expert scientific opinions on this matter.
Based on data available on the CDC website, for children under the age 18, comparing the number of deaths from COVID-19 during the period of January 2021 to September 2021, to deaths caused during the same monthly periods (using the latest available data from 2015-2019) by flu and pneumonia, heart disease, drowning, firearms and motor vehicle accidents shows that deaths from COVID-19 have the lowest level of mortality.
Johns Hopkins Professor Dr. Marty Makary, MD, MPH: “a June Cleveland Clinic study of health-care workers…[showed that] none who had previously tested positive for the coronavirus got reinfected. The study authors concluded that ‘individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination.’ The incorrect hypothesis that natural immunity is unreliable has resulted in the loss of thousands of American lives, avoidable vaccine complications, and damaged the credibility of public health officials.”
Washington University School of Medicine: “Even a mild COVID infection resulted in long-lasting immunity.”
Dr. Cody Meissner, FDA Advisory Panel member: “This is quite different from the MMR vaccine. We know that vaccine is safe. We have tested that vaccine for decades. And we know, we have a very good sense of what the adverse events are. We do not have that with this particular messenger RNA vaccine. I’m just worried…that the states are going to mandate administration of this vaccine to children in order to go to school, and I do not agree with that. I think that would be an error at this time until we get more information about the safety.”
Bloomberg/The Lancet Infectious Diseases Medical Journal: “People inoculated against COVID-19 are just as likely to spread the delta variant of the virus to contacts in their household as those who haven’t had shots, according to new research.”
Let’s even take a look at the data provided by Dr. Wisotsky. He stated that “to date 8,300 children in the 5-11 year age group have been hospitalized with COVID and 94 have died.” Based on 2020 census data, there are approximately 28.4 million children in this country that fall within the 5-11 age group. The 8,300 children that have been hospitalized represent.03% of all children in that age group and those 94 children that have tragically died represent.0003% of all children in that cohort.
My point remains that older and at-risk populations face potentially lethal consequences should they contract COVID-19 and, therefore, present a much stronger case for vaccination. However, while the death and/or hospitalization of even one child is tragic, the data on children in the 5-11 age group show that there is an infinitesimal risk of serious reaction should they be infected with COVID-19. Injecting those children with a vaccine that has had nowhere near the testing of prior vaccines—including the Polio vaccine—warrants an informed comparison of the risks to their children posed by COVID-19 versus the risks to their children posed by a vaccine that has been around for less than one-year and utilizes a new technology that has never before been approved for human use. I’ll let the words of Dr. Eric Rubin, member of the FDA Advisory Panel say it all: “We’re never going to learn about how safe this vaccine is unless we start giving it. That’s just the way it goes.”
The health of our children is at stake and parents should be able to make informed choices without fear of being ostracized by their physicians, schools and communities. If common decency doesn’t dictate that, then, as Mr. Wisotsky points out, science should.Leah Schreiber