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The New York Times, in an article published Oct. 6, overstated the number of children hospitalized with COVID in the U.S. by more than 800,000. The Times acknowledged the mistake, and other errors in the same article, the following day by adding a correction to the end of the original piece.
The Times initially reported “nearly 900,000 children have been hospitalized” with COVID since the pandemic began. The corrected article, updated Oct. 7, states “more than 63,000 children were hospitalized with COVID-19 from August 2020 to October 2021.”
According to Fox News, the original Times article, “A New Vaccine Strategy for Children: Just One Dose, for Now,” by Apoorva Mandavilli, science and health reporter, was “peppered with errors” before major changes were made to the story.
In addition to overstating the number of children hospitalized with COVID, the Times falsely reported actions taken by regulators in Sweden and Denmark — who paused Moderna’s COVID vaccine for younger age groups last week citing reports of myocarditis — and botched the timing of a scheduled U.S. Food and Drug Administration meeting to discuss the authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old.
The correction at the bottom of the original article, states:
“An earlier version of this article incorrectly described actions taken by regulators in Sweden and Denmark. They have halted use of the Moderna vaccine in children; they have not begun offering single doses. The article also misstated the number of COVID hospitalizations in U.S. children. It is more than 63,000 from August 2020 to October 2021, not 900,000 since the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, the article misstated the timing of an F.D.A. meeting on authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children. It is later this month, not next week.”
Hospitalization rates by both age and vaccination status in King County, Washington, contain some of the country’s most detailed COVID data, showing that the risks for unvaccinated children look similar to the risks for vaccinated people in their 50s.
According to an article published today in The New York Times, nationwide statistics from the UK showed an even larger age gap. Unvaccinated children under 12 (a group combined with unvaccinated children under 18 in the next graph) appeared to be at a lower risk of COVID hospitalization than vaccinated people in their 40s, if not 30s.
“COVID is a threat to children. But it’s not an extraordinary threat,” Dr. Alasdair Munro, a pediatric infectious-disease specialist at the University of Southampton, said in a tweet. “It’s very ordinary. In general, the risks from being infected are similar to the other respiratory viruses you probably don’t think much about.”
In fact, for smaller children (pre school) viruses like RSV are much more likely to result in hospitalisation and severe disease
We are heaving with RSV and other viruses in children’s ED, but despite record numbers of community cases are still seeing very little #COVID19
— Alasdair Munro (@apsmunro) October 11, 2021
For children without a serious medical condition, the danger of severe COVID is so low as to be difficult to quantify. For children with such a condition, the danger is higher but still lower than many people believe, the Times reported.
Expert urges ‘unbreakable resistance’ to vaccines for kids
In a presentation published Oct. 4, by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Peter McCullough, a consultant, cardiologist and one of the top five most-published medical researchers in the U.S., urged “relentless, and unbreakable resistance” to COVID vaccination of children.
“Myocarditis is certainly very real. It’s due to the vaccine,” McCullough said.
“The chances of myocarditis, and hospitalization with myocarditis for one of these children who is going to be forced into vaccination … is greater than being hospitalized for COVID-19. So, it’s much better for the children to not get vaccinated and take the risk of the respiratory infection.”
“This has to be [made] abundantly clear. The FDA says, ‘WARNING: This causes myocarditis. Don’t do it.’ The FDA has told us this. The [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] CDC agrees with all the data. That doesn’t equal mandatory vaccination for children. It mandates just the opposite: an unbelievable, relentless and unbreakable resistance to having the children vaccinated. It is simply not safe under any conditions. Period. Full stop.”
McCullough went on to give statistics and explained the medical field will never be able to “vaccinate our way out of” this disease — but early treatment, which “works” and builds up herd immunity is the appropriate path.
According to the most recent data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System — a vaccine safety monitoring system jointly managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration — there have been 520 U.S. reports of myocarditis and pericarditis (heart inflammation) in the 12-to-17-year-old age group, with 508 cases attributed to Pfizer’s vaccine.
Historically, VAERS has been shown to report only 1% of actual vaccine adverse events.
On May 10, Pfizer’s COVID vaccine was approved for use in children 12 to 15 years old. On Sept. 30, Pfizer submitted initial data from its vaccine trial on children between 5 and 11 years old to the FDA.
The FDA’s independent vaccine advisory committee will hold three meetings in October to discuss COVID booster shots, mix-and-match boosters and vaccines for children 5 to 11 years old, the agency announced last week.
During the second meeting, the committee also will discuss data from the National Institutes of Health on the safety and efficacy of getting initial doses of one COVID vaccine and, later, a booster dose of another manufacturer’s shot.