And this is why you shouldn’t vaccinate 12-year-olds

With my impeccable timing in place, I’ll get to the follow-up to my previous argument for vaccinating 12-year-olds. I’m not doing this to be a contrarian but because I think it is hugely important that each and every one of us makes informed decisions, rather than surrendering control of our lives to others.

And while I have been mulling this over I do believe that the arguments are more heavily towards vaccination children. It will always be a question of weighing the risks against each-other. On the one hand, the combines risk of getting infected and having an adverse reaction to that, on the other hand the risk of getting an adverse reaction to a vaccine.

The problems will always be that you cannot actually know and besides, the first risk is away in the future where you have to guess how many other people will be infectious and which variant will they have.

So, the Indian / Delta variant sealed the deal for me. It is much more infectious, it is already here, more and more people are getting infected and spreading the disease, and the adverse effects are much more severe, maybe even for children.

But, there are arguments against vaccinating children.

Just 2 weeks ago WHO recommended against vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds, saying

Children should not be vaccinated for the moment.
There is not yet enough evidence on the use of vaccines against COVID-19 in children to make recommendations for children to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

They are still hesitant:

Children and adolescents tend to have milder disease compared to adults, so unless they are part of a group at higher risk of severe COVID-19, it is less urgent to vaccinate them than older people, those with chronic health conditions and health workers.

The WHO has another problem they are trying to tackle here: We don’t have enough vaccines. I’m going to ignore that problem for now.

Because there are risks associated with vaccines and the COVID-19 vaccines are no exception: “CDC Finds ‘Likely’ Link Between Heart Inflammation and Pfizer, Moderna COVID Vaccines“. In fact, the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis may be 200 times higher than without the vaccine – provided you don’t get COVID-19 of course – and if the preliminary data points are true we get this rate of adverse effects:

  • for boys between 12 and 17-year-old: 1 out of 16,000
  • for girls between 12 and 17-year-old: 1 out of 115,000

For Denmark, that would translate to about 10 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis, of which a couple might be very serious.

I know statistics doesn’t work this way – these are back-of-the-envelope calculations.

I am quite convinced that the immune response to COVID-19 can be even more severe than the adverse effects of the vaccines, and as we saw a sharp increase in cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children as COVID-19 spread, I am also convinced that these, related, cases of myocarditis and pericarditis will be seen in those children that are not vaccinated.

It’s all back to weighing the risks. A few weeks ago I was hesitant regarding vaccinating a 12-year-old. Now, I think it is less risky than hoping the COVID-19 pass us by.

EDIT: Removed a mistaken question-mark from the headline

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