Dr. Ben Carson told the Daily Caller on Thursday that the decision to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the childhood immunization schedule was “disappointing” and that “we have no idea what the long term implications are.”
A panel of vaccine experts working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted unanimously on Oct. 20 to recommend that children between the ages of six months and 18 should receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Although the vote did not establish a mandate, several states follow the CDC’s recommendations.
“So many of the states decide on their mandates based on those recommendations, and it would be a good thing to follow the science,” the former neurosurgeon and 2016 presidential candidate told the Caller. “The science tells us that the risk of death or severe complications from COVID for children is 0.025%. That’s approaching zero.” (RELATED: CDC Panel Adds COVID Shot To Kids’ Routine Vaccine Schedule)
“Those spike proteins that are produced … we have no idea what their longevity and their spread will be over the course of time, and how that may affect the other organs in the body,” Carson added.
“To trade almost zero percent risk for unknown long term risk doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, and at least should be something that should be completely left at the hands of the parents and the health care providers,” he said.
White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha responded to the CDC’s recommendation at an Oct. 25 press briefing, saying that whether to require COVID vaccines for children “is very much a local decision that should be made by local school districts, by cities, by mayors, by local officials who usually make those decisions. And sometimes, they’re made by state officials.”
“I am not a local official. I am not tasked to make that decision,” Jha added when asked by a reporter if he thought the CDC was right to recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for children.