The CDC Once Pulled A Kids’ Vaccine With Fewer Problems Than The COVID Jab

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Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expedited the authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine for kids, but in the past, kids’ vaccines with fewer problems have been pulled from the market by regulators.

In 1999, the CDC pulled the RotaShield vaccine, which protected kids against Rotavirus, due to evidence that in rare cases it afflicted babies with intussusception. The rate of intussusception from the RotaShield vaccine was far lower than the rate of myocarditis is in COVID-19 vaccines for young boys.

After public reports of the rare but serious side effect, regulators conducted an investigation and in 2001 published findings showing that the RotaShield vaccine was causing one additional case of intussusception for every 4,670 to 9,474 babies vaccinated.

Incidences of myocarditis or pericarditis in boys aged 12-17 ranges from 22.0-35.9 per 100,000, according to the CDC, or one case out of every 2,785-4,545 vaccinations. Another study from the Netherlands Heart Journal found a myocarditis rate of one in every 6,635 vaccinations in males 16-19 years old.

Intussusception is potentially fatal in children, although it can almost always be resolved if treated within days of incidence. In developed countries with advanced medical care, death from the condition is uncommon. Myocarditis kills more than 30,000 people annually, disproportionately young adult males.

Not only did RotaShield have an arguably less serious and less frequent side effect that sidelined it from use for years, it was a vaccine for an illness that is objectively more dangerous to small children than COVID-19. (RELATED: Big Pharma Can’t Figure Out How To Cash In On ‘Long COVID’)

Before society had a vaccine, rotavirus led to the hospitalization of somewhere between 55,000 and 70,000 hospitalizations each year for infants in the U.S. According to the CDC, the total number of kids under age 5 that have been hospitalized with COVID-19 — not for COVID-19, but simply with it — has yet to reach 30,000 in two and a half years of the pandemic.

A substantial number of those hospitalizations are for reasons other than COVID-19, although the exact number is hard to quantify. In the U.K., more than half of current COVID-19 hospitalizations are incidental, according to The Spectator.

Top public health experts have admitted that part of the reason to withdraw the RotaShield vaccine was to restore faith in vaccines among parents.

“Only after justifications based on numerical measures of risk and benefit were shown to be inadequate did public accounts of RotaShield decision making retrospectively acknowledge the significance of qualitative concerns such as the preservation of public confidence in vaccination and perceptions regarding the risk acceptable as part of disease prevention,” wrote Yale public health scholar Jason Schwartz in 2011.

“We felt that in the current climate, we shouldn’t be seen as withholding information right now,” CDC official Dr. John Livengood said at the time.

Now, both the CDC and vaccines are losing trust. The agency said that childhood vaccination for easily preventable diseases like measles and mumps dropped in 2021. A 2021 Gallup poll found that only 32% of Americans believe the CDC communicates clearly. A recent paper in the New England Journal of Medicine found that flu shot uptake has dropped.

Still, America’s top public health officials continue to press for COVID-19 shots for children.