On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted unanimously to include the COVID-19 vaccines on the childhood immunization schedule.
The recommendation now goes to the desk of CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, who is expected to adopt the advice.
The Daily Citizen spoke with Dr. William Toffler, Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, who has been a family physician for over 40 years, about the decision.
“This move by the ACIP is incredibly misguided. The science does not support this,” Dr. Toffler said. “The reality is that several countries around the world have restricted the use of these vaccines for those under 30.”
“ACIP’s decision seems to be based more on a political narrative than on a medical one,” the doctor added. “To give this to children is essentially inappropriate. Children are at very low risk from COVID-19, and yet they are at risk for negative side effects from the shots, which may be worse than the disease itself.”
Dr. Toffler also pointed to the CDC’s continued dismissal of natural immunity as another problem. He said that millions of children are likely already immune from the disease, and therefore it makes no sense to vaccinate them.
“To give this to healthy children is borderline malpractice,” he added.
Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and one of the leading medical doctors in the world, has also spoken out against ACIP’s decision.
“There has never been a vaccine added to the child immunization schedule without solid clinical evidence that it reduces disease significantly in the community,” Dr. Makary said. “The COVID vaccine in children will be the first – it will be added with no clinical data.”
Dr. Makary referred to the ACIP committee as essentially a “kangaroo court,” since only doctors who are extremely pro-vaccine are added to the committee.
The ACIP schedule currently includes a list of dozens of vaccines that the CDC recommends children and adolescents receive by the time they turn 18 years old.
Some conservative commentators, including Tucker Carlson, have suggested that the CDC taking this step would “make the vax mandatory for kids to attend school.”
The CDC has pushed back on this assertion, recently stating, “States establish vaccine requirements for school children, not ACIP or CDC.”
“State laws establish vaccination requirements for school children. These laws often apply not only to children attending public schools but also to those attending private schools and day care facilities,” the CDC notes. “All states provide medical exemptions, and some state laws also offer exemptions for religious and/or philosophical reasons.”
However, even though the CDC can’t order states to require students to receive the COVID-19 vaccines to attend school, ACIP adding the vaccines to the childhood immunization schedule certainly nudges states to do so.
ABC News reports, “If the CDC does update its list of suggested vaccinations to include the COVID vaccine, which is available to anyone 6 months or older, that will open the door for states to begin making those calls, too.”
For example, the state of Colorado requires all students attending schools and licensed childcares to be vaccinated against certain diseases.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, “The minimum number and spacing of doses is set forth in the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedules.”
In other words, the state of Colorado requires children to receive the vaccines that are recommended in ACIP’s childhood immunization schedule.
As the National Conference of State Legislatures notes, “Many states align their vaccine requirements with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.”
Dr. Joseph Ladapo, PhD, serves as Florida’s Surgeon General and State Health Officer. He wrote the following about the ACIP vote:
Regardless of what @CDCgov votes tomorrow on whether COVID-19 vax are added to routine child immunizations – nothing changes in FL.
Thanks to @GovRonDeSantis, COVID mandates are NOT allowed in FL, NOT pushed into schools, & I continue to recommend against them for healthy kids.
— Joseph A. Ladapo, MD, PhD (@FLSurgeonGen) October 18, 2022
Earlier this month, Dr. Ladapo officially issued a guidance in which he said, “The State Surgeon General now recommends against the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines for males ages 18-39 years old.”
As the Daily Citizen previously reported, most Americans oppose requiring young children to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend in-person school.
Focus on the Family continues to support the right of parents to be the primary decision makers for their children’s health, including whether to vaccinate against COVID-19.
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