Below is a public comment that I submitted regarding the possibility of adding the Covid shot to the immunization schedule for kids, which the CDC will be meeting to discuss tomorrow. If you are so inclined, you can leave a comment yourself at this link. Please reference CDC/APIP Docket No. CDC-2022-0111.
To whom it may concern:
I am strongly opposed to the addition of any vaccines, particularly the Covid-19 shot, to the Vaccines for Children program. In my opinion, there are already too many shots, tests, and other medical procedures that children are made to routinely undergo, which negatively impacts their quality of life. The last thing our society should be doing is adding to the list of medical procedures that children are subjected to.
In my opinion, it is a particularly bad idea to add the Covid-19 shot to the list of vaccines administered through the Vaccines for Children program. Although there is some evidence that these shots reduce the severity of illness for people who get Covid-19, there is no evidence that the shots actually prevent people from catching Covid in the first place. This factor alone makes Covid shots significantly different from the other vaccines in the Vaccines for Children program, all of which prevent diseases as opposed to merely reducing their severity. I believe that every person has an absolute and fundamental human right to make his/her own medical decisions, and therefore I am philosophically opposed to making any medical procedure mandatory under any circumstances. However, I think that it would be particularly wrong to make the Covid shot mandatory because the justification of protecting the community by reducing disease transmission cannot really be used for shots that do not prevent transmission.
Another factor that weighs against routinely administering Covid shots to children is the fact that children are at very low risk for severe illness or death from Covid. Plus, from the data available so far, the risk of side effects from Covid shots appears to be quite high. It is very common for people to become sick for a day or two following getting these shots. Although this does not generally pose a threat to people’s long-term health, both the experience of receiving a shot and the resulting side effects have a negative impact on quality of life. This negative impact on quality of life should not be dismissed.
In conclusion, the drawbacks to administering Covid shots to children appear to be quite high, and the benefits quite low. Therefore, it is not clear that receiving these shots is, on the whole, beneficial to children. The moral principles of individual liberty, bodily autonomy, and medical freedom also weigh strongly against adding the Covid shot to the Vaccines for Children program. I feel strongly that children and their parents should have the freedom to weigh risks and benefits themselves and make their own decisions. I feel strongly that the Covid shot should be optional.