As the country awaits the government’s new measures to combat the rising tide of Covid-19, European Medicines Agency EMA has given the ‘green light’ to vaccinating children over the age of five – even though almost none of them are likely to suffer the virus in anything but the lightest of forms.
EMA’s reasoning is that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks.
It is a conclusion that has been trotted out constantly through the pandemic to justify administering vaccinations to younger age groups.
Here, Tiago Correia, professor of international public health, has told SIC television news that EMA’s decision was “pondered, and taken to reduce contagions”.
But, whatever the reasons for the decision, parents everywhere will now be sitting down to think this all through.
Henrique Raposo, a leader writer for Expresso, is one such parent. He has come to his own conclusion, and it forms the basis for his column this week: “I won’t be vaccinating my daughters against Covid- because I believe in science and the facts.”
On the basis that many foreign resident parents may be wondering what is best, this is Mr Raposo’s opinion:
“The argument that vaccinating children is fundamental to stop transmission is a fallacy that denies the science of the vaccine itself. Vaccinating children against Covid is just another placebo to calm paranoia. I am sorry but they are playing at placebos with my daughters’ bodies.
“Point number one: I have always criticised and will continue to criticise anti-vaxxers – an obscure fashion of our time which seems to delight in the obscure in spite of information being available at the touch of a button.
“Point number two: I vaccinate my daughters against everything. I vaccinate beyond the ‘obligatory’ vaccines because I believe in science; because I have had a daughter in pediatric ICU with a respiratory virus that, contrary to Covid, can kill children – VSR (which is now skyrocketing thanks to anti-Covid measures).
“Point number three: my parents are vaccinated against Covid. I wouldn’t expect anything else. I am vaccinated. I am no longer a lad.
“Point number 4: respect for science and the facts supporting the above points lead me to say one simple thing: there is no need to vaccinate children against Covid. It is even an unnecessary risk; this risk, which is yet another concession to the fear that people believe to be the owner of civic responsibility.
“In the series ‘Mildred Pierce’, the character played by Kate Winslet loses a daughter to a variant of the Spanish Flu. Contrary to Covid, the Spanish Flu could take a lot of people. And what has been absurd since 2020 is that we have been subjecting children and young people to draconian measures on the presupposition that Covid could kill them. It cannot.
“Covid is a public health problem, because it is a new virus: meaning we don’t have genetic memory of battles with SARS-CoV-2. This new virus becomes dangerous when it alights on older people, with comorbidities. We know this. Only a few days ago, and after being very tight-lipped, the DGS came out and said that the profile of a Covid fatality in November 2021 continues to be the same as in November 2020: people over the age of 80 with associated chronic diseases. Knowing all this, why is it that we continue to keep children under draconian measures in schools and creches?
“We also know another thing: children transmit this virus less than adults. Various studies affirm with absolute clarity: the opening or closing of schools is irrelevant in the control, or otherwise, of the epidemic. Closing schools was a placebo to calm the fear.
“You could argue that, in spite of transmitting less, children can still transmit a bit of the virus, and for this reason they should be vaccinated. But this argument becomes meaningless when we realise the Covid vaccine does not stop transmission of the virus.
“There is an abyss between the scientific truth of the Covid vaccine and the moralistic narrative generated by it.
“Contrary to classic vaccines (for example, measles), the vaccine against Covid does not kill the virus; it does not stop it taking hold in the body, it simply spectacularly reduces the probabilities of the virus creating a serious illness and consequently death.
“In other words, arguing that vaccinating children is fundamental to stop transmission of the virus is a fallacy that negates the science of the vaccine itself. Vaccinating children is just another placebo to calm paranoia. I am sorry, but they will not play placebos with my daughters’ bodies. There haven’t even been enough tests in children for us to be certain with regard to the safety of the vaccine in such small bodies.
“This haste is the worst enemy of science”.
Henrique Raposo, Expresso, November 25.