Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Is the COVID-19 Pfizer Vaccine Going to Protect Your Child? Guest Post by Pediatrician Patricia Fine, MD

The past 15 months have been difficult for all mankind. Each one of us have suffered a loss of some kind or another. During this time, we have desperately attempted to protect ourselves and those we care for. Fortunately, we have also learned more about the new SARS Co-V2 COVID-19 coronavirus organism. Recognizing what we have learned and using that information accurately is important when making recommendations for prevention and treatment of this disease.

One important piece of information we now have is that children 17 years old and younger have such a low rate of death if they become infected with COVID-19, that their survival rate is essentially 100%. Their risk of getting post COVID-19 MIS-D (multi system inflammatory disease) is also less than 0.1%. Additionally, there are several treatments available that when given early in COVID-19 infection dramatically decrease the risk of being hospitalised or dying from the infection, even in the most at risk. We have several new vaccine products intended to prevent severe disease that are also available.

However, accepting what is unknown about the COVID-19 vaccines is vital to ensure they do not cause unintended harm. No long-term safety information is available for these vaccines, which have only been used in the general population for approximately six months. The FDA made their decision to grant an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer mRNA vaccine for children aged 12-15 using a single small study with only 1100 children receiving the vaccine. Of those 1100 children there were several serious adverse reactions. The vaccine was still pushed through without further evaluation of the observed concerning reactions. Since the roll out of the Pfizer product for children we are seeing rapidly rising rates of serious adverse reactions to these vaccines in children. Germany’s vaccine advisory board, called STIKO, has evaluated the data and ONLY recommends use of this product in children with underlying medical conditions. The CDC now recognizes there is a real concern and has called for an emergency meeting to discuss this issue on June 18th 2021.

As a pediatrician, I took a vow to first do no harm and to advocate for the protection of the children I care for. Using currently available data, I conclude that the risk of serious adverse reactions in children 17 years old and younger receiving the Pfizer mRNA vaccine is greater than the possible benefit they may gain. I implore all medical providers to first do no harm” as well, and to stop advocating for these vaccines to be given to our youth. I strongly suggest all parents and caregivers stop vaccinating their children with mRNA-based vaccine products until they can be studied further. I request our leaders exercise patience and recommend holding off on COVID-19 vaccinations for those 17 years old and younger until potential risks are better understood. I suggest we all continue to recommend and use well vetted childhood vaccines with a long track record of safety for all children. Finally, we should all educate ourselves on how to rapidly access COVID-19 early treatment options should we become infected. Following these suggestions will ensure each citizen the opportunity to be protected from severe disease from COVID-19 infection with the least potential risk of harm.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Forty-Five Years since June 10, 1976

 I just realized tonight that today is actually June 10, 2021 and it's been 45 years since my graduation from The Ohio State University College of Medicine.   What a journey, from Columbus to Hershey, PA to Granville, OH, to Spring Valley Township/ Bellbrook, OH with practices at The Department of Family and Community Medicine at the M. S. Hershey Medical Center of Penn State University, The Granville Medical Center, Newark (2 different locations in Licking County, OH), Denison University Whistler Hall, OSU Department of Family Medicine, The Frederick A. White Center of Wright State University, The Indian Ripple Family Health Center, Family Health Connections, Inc., The Central State University Campus Health Center, Open Arms Health Clinic, and Neighborly Family Medicine.

I learned so much from, for and about  patients and health and disease and pain and suffering and the amazing talents of the human body by  about 225, 000 interactions with patients.  I'm still learning and listening and thankful for the opportunity.

The Dr. Synonymous photo with this blog was taken on that day.  The Class of 1976 of The Ohio State University College of Medicine has touched a lot of lives.  What a journey!