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BEFORE YOU BOOST YOUR COLLEGE KID

9/20/22


So I realize it may be too late for many, but for those still struggling with whether to vaccinate or boost their college kids, here’s something you might want to read first. This paper published as a pre-print on September 12, 2022 is entitled (my bold) “Covid-19 vaccine boosters for young adults: A risk-benefit assessment and five ethical arguments against mandates at universities”. It is 32 pages long with an additional 18 pages of 125 citations; and it has among its 10 contributing authors such heavyweights as Dr. Vinay Prasad, Dr. Marty Makary, and Dr. Tracy Hoeg, so it is no fly-by-night crackpot paper and I have no doubt it will pass a peer-review. The paper is long but pretty readable and I encourage you to do so here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4206070.


But for those who don’t want to know how the sausage is made I will simply copy and paste the abstract from this paper which tells you all you need to know (again, my bold):


“Students at North American universities risk disenrollment due to third dose Covid-19 vaccine mandates. We present a risk-benefit assessment of boosters in this age group and provide five ethical arguments against mandates. We estimate that 22,000 - 30,000 previously uninfected adults aged 18-29 must be boosted with an mRNA vaccine to prevent one Covid-19 hospitalisation. Using CDC and sponsor-reported adverse event data, we find that booster mandates may cause a net expected harm: per Covid-19 hospitalisation prevented in previously uninfected young adults, we anticipate 18 to 98 serious adverse events, including 1.7 to 3.0 booster-associated myocarditis cases in males, and 1,373 to 3,234 cases of grade ≥3 reactogenicity which interferes with daily activities. Given the high prevalence of post-infection immunity, this risk-benefit profile is even less favourable. University booster mandates are unethical because: 1) no formal risk-benefit assessment exists for this age group; 2) vaccine mandates may result in a net expected harm to young people; 3) mandates are not proportionate: expected harms are not outweighed by public health benefits given the modest and transient effectiveness of vaccines against transmission; 4) US mandates violate the reciprocity principle because rare serious vaccine-related harms will not be reliably compensated due to gaps in current vaccine injury schemes; and 5) mandates create wider social harms. We consider counter-arguments such as a desire for socialisation and safety and show that such arguments lack scientific and/or ethical support. Finally, we discuss the relevance of our analysis for current 2-dose Covid-19 vaccine mandates in North America.”


Is it right to expose some 30,000 young adults to perhaps significant harm in an attempt to “protect” one young adult from ending up in the hospital? And those calculations are based on “previously uninfected young adults”. As the authors state “Given the high prevalence of post-infection immunity, this risk-benefit profile is even less favourable.” And as estimates place seroprevalence (how many people have antibodies to COVID) at around 95% of the population, and the fatality risk for this age group (18-29) hovers around at the absolute most 0.015% (fifteen one-thousandths of one percent), the practice of forcing college kids to get boosted (or even initially vaxxed) seems indefensible.


Please think about this before you boost your child against a virus that poses no risk to them. And while you’re at it, why don’t you call their school if they’re pushing boosters, present these numbers, and ask them to explain themselves. This information, of course, applies to your younger children as well. Fight for your kids, make trouble, they’re worth it aren't they?

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