In a lengthy and certainly surprising report the French medical body detailed the few or almost non-existent benefits of vaccinating children and adolescents against the coronavirus, a week after the French Ministry of Health gave the green light for the vaccination of this group of people, Life Site reported.
This June 15, National Ethics Advisory Board (CCNE) will begin vaccinating the population of children and adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 against the CCP Virus, a move approved by the health ministry and something other countries such as the United States are also doing.
However, the National Ethics Council (CCNE) published a report analyzing the government’s decision and explaining its implications.
Lack of trials and data on children and adolescents
One of the points mentioned by the report is that the entire Phase III testing of the experimental COVID-19 vaccine was conducted in adults. Thus, although countries such as the United States and others have vaccinated children and adolescents, there is no data or analysis of the effects on children and adolescents in the short and long term.
Unfortunately, cases of heart inflammation have been reported in adolescents after receiving the vaccine, better known as myocarditis.
“The existing experience does not allow ensuring the full safety of these new vaccines in adolescents (…) and in children no data is available, although it can be noted that several tens of millions of adolescents have been vaccinated in the USA,” it notes, adding that “a few cases of mild, post-vaccination myocarditis in adolescents are beginning to be published.”
Moreover, as it is an unknown disease, the scientific community is constantly continuing to follow it, and the constant change in behavior results in new interpretations.
The question of vaccinating until herd immunity is achieved
To achieve herd immunity, scientists set the standard at vaccinating 85% of the population.
In France, 52% of adults have been vaccinated, and according to recent statistics, 20% of the adult population does not want to be vaccinated, and many have stopped signing up for the COVID vaccine.
Therefore, the CCNE states that if 78% of the country’s population is over 18 years of age, targeting such a small population of children and adolescents in particular does not seem to meet the objective of immunity in this current period.
Low transmission rate among children and adolescents
“Do children and adolescents really spread coronavirus?” the ethics board asks. “The decision to vaccinate children and adolescents must therefore take into account their role in the spread of the virus. Although controversies persist, more and more publications show that children, especially those under 10-12 years of age, are not the most frequent source of contamination,” the NEC states in its report.
It does point out that the risk is higher in adolescents but that most infections occur at home because, although schools were open for the second half of the lockdowns, there have been no major spikes in this population.
The promise of freedom in exchange for the vaccine
The council also included in its report the issue of the side effects of lockdowns on children and adolescents who are at an energetic age and their social life with their peers is of paramount importance to their mental health.
The CCNE explains that the adverse psychological effects are long-lasting and will probably not disappear with the pandemic and warns that “children are vulnerable members of society who are likely to have new forms of post-COVID.”
Among the side effects have already been documented “anxiety, suicidal thoughts, depression, and sleep disturbances” during the time they had to quarantine and take classes at home via their computer screens.
According to U.S. CDC data, suicidal thoughts in adolescents doubled this year over last.
Among adolescent girls aged 12 to 17 years, the average number of weekly emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts between February 2021 and March 2021 was 50.6% higher than in the same period last year, according to the CDC analysis. Most of the visits were from girls.
It also argues that wearing masks and social distancing do not come naturally to children and adolescents.
“After more than a year of constraints weighing on their morale and their psychic health, the question of their own vulnerability emerges and deserves increased attention. A society that leaves its youth in a situation of long-term suffering is a society that runs the risk of damaging its energy, its hopes and its future,” reflects the CCNE in its report.
So the question that children and adolescents have to be vaccinated in order to lead a normal social life, and get out of compulsory confinement, raises the ethical question that although they are not a population at risk, like the elderly, and that their infection rate is relatively low, that the number of deaths from coronavirus in them is extremely low (out of 100,000 deaths there were only 88 under 29 years of age) and that there is a possibility that despite vaccination, confinements could re-confine them.
“The risk here is significant: if adolescents go for vaccination with the certainty that it will allow them to return to normal life and this motivation ends up being disappointed in reality, it is their trust in institutions that risks being shaken in the long term,” says the CCNE.
“Compulsory vaccination, especially in the adolescent population, is not a relevant issue at this time, but the motivation induced by the possible freedom regained through vaccination, particularly in the adolescent population, must ensure that such a practice is not harmful in the short, medium and long term. It also questions the notion of free consent,” he adds.
In other words, vaccination is not compulsory, but by presenting ‘freedom’ as the fruit of doing so, it ends up being a type of subtle coercion, according to the French National Ethical Council.