UCLA Doctor: Parents Have Lost Faith in the Medical Establishment and for Good Reason

Posted: Dec 16, 2021 12:35 PM
UCLA Doctor: Parents Have Lost Faith in the Medical Establishment and for Good Reason

Source: AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

UCLA Medical Doctor Catherine Sarkisian is speaking out about the loss of trust in the medical community as the government, health officials and pharmaceutical companies push parents to vaccinate their young children for Wuhan coronavirus. 

"This article fails to mention a major reason many smart caring parents are waiting for more data before allowing their children to receive vaccines for a disease with close to zero chance of mortality: parents have lost trust in our medical establishment and its unethical relationship with the pharmaceutical industry. Instead of relying heavily on opinion quotes from a pharmaceutical employee, JAMA should have published an article with this title that presented actual data about what parents believe," Sarkisian wrote and posted in her personal capacity under an article posted in The Journal of the American Medical Association. "There is nothing 'paradoxical' about parents who are vaccinated themselves wanting to wait for more/longer-term data from fully-powered RCTs before having their kids receive a new emergency-use authorization vaccine." 

"On the contrary, it makes great sense given the extremely low risk of harm from COVID-19 for a 5-11 year-old. As a physician scientist and left-leaning human being who believes in the social contract (and never let my kids miss a vaccine), I am extremely frustrated seeing such a biased article published in JAMA," she continued. 

Sarkisian made the statement in response to an article from JAMA titled, "Why Parents Still Hesitate to Vaccinate Their Children Against COVID-19." Here's some of what it said, quoting a doctor on the FDA's Emergency Use Authorization panel with direct ties to the pharmaceutical industry. 

As of early December, more than 2.3 million children aged 5 to 11 years had developed COVID-19 and 209 had died. Although a vaccine that’s 90.7% effective in preventing the illness was authorized for younger kids in late October, these figures apparently aren’t convincing enough to persuade many parents to vaccinate their children.

According to a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), only 27% of parents of 5- to 11-year-olds are keen to immunize their children against COVID-19, whereas 30% said they definitely won’t vaccinate their children. One-third of parents said they’ll “wait and see” before deciding how to proceed. Pediatrician Paul Offit, MD, a member of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel that recommended the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), said he isn’t surprised.

“The uptake will be slow and low,” he said in an interview.

Offit has been on the vaccinology frontline for decades and coinvented a rotavirus vaccine marketed as RotaTeq, which the FDA approved for infants in 2006.

Another doctor also noted the conflict of interest. 

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"Out of all the scientists or physicians out there, you selected someone who received money from the 2 Covid vaccine manufacturers and sits on advisory boards for the vaccine manufacturers? Your article would be more persuasive if you picked individuals without conflicts of interests," Department of Veteran Affairs Doctor Elizabeth Worsham posted below the article in her personal capacity. 

As the Biden administration pushes to vaccinate all children, parents are hesitant and question the necessity. From the New York Times

A report this month from researchers at Northeastern, Harvard, Rutgers and Northwestern universities found that parental concerns around the Covid vaccination had increased “significantly” from June through September. Chief among them, researchers said, were the newness of the vaccine, whether it has been sufficiently tested, efficacy, side effects and long-term health consequences.

According to a survey released Thursday by Kaiser Family Foundation, scarcely one in three parents will permit their children in this newly eligible age group to be vaccinated immediately. Two-thirds were either reluctant or adamantly opposed. An Axios-Ipsos poll found that 42 percent of parents of these children said they were unlikely to have their children vaccinated.