My name is Rajiv Seereeram. I'm a concerned parent and a physician and I wanted to clarify my position about Covid-19 vaccination in children. First off, I'd like to make a very clear distinction between Covid-19 in children and adults and I'd like everyone to know that as a physician, we are facing an unprecedented threat, both clinically and at a public health level. And Covid-19, there's no comparison. The overall toll on society is catastrophic and the potential toll on society, can be much worse. If we don't find a treatment a timely treatment and I think Intuitively, having treated many viral illnesses over the years through modern medicine. Vaccines make sense. If we can prevent it, if we can wipe it out, then we have an effective solution to avoid a lot of suffering. And I know a lot of families are suffering including families that are close to mine.
However, there is certainly a marked distinction between the experience of an adult having Covid and a child and I don't think that there's any data internationally or locally to suggest that Covid-19 is an emergency in children. I think intuitively we all know this as well and there would have been many families that suffered with Covid who have small children at home and almost universally, they do quite well. Unfortunately, we've had a few cases of MIS-C which is really a multi-organ inflammatory condition that follows in the post-viral phase of Covid. And this particular condition is not quite understood at least on a pathophysiological level. However, overall, nearly all children would have a very, very mild course of disease and would recover without any significant complications.
Now, what we've seen here, is that in the last month, the government has set is a prerequisite for schooling, vaccinations in children over 12 years of age. And I'd like to, to invite at least the government to please clarify their position on this. Are they seeing a Covid-19 emergency in children? Are children, are they seeing excess deaths due to Covid-19 in this age group? Yes, certainly children get sick and most recover. In fact, virtually all recover to develop robust and durable, natural immunity. Right.
Now, in terms of the argument for, vaccines, for children. The present argument is that whilst children don't really benefit from a mortality or morbidity gain from the vaccine, vaccinating children would protect their parents and the elders around them. The objective of vaccinating a child is to prevent transmission. Unfortunately, this is not happening. Internationally, the data is not showing this at all. If you look at Vermont; Vermont which is about 80% vaccinated, you can see that the cases are much higher than they've ever been. And in fact, the vast majority of deaths in Vermont are fully vaccinated and such patients, the caseload is much higher than before. The same can be said for Singapore. You can see that the death rate is much, much higher than it's ever been and Singapore is almost fully vaccinated.
So, what we're saying is that there are many unknowns and what is causing great distress for me, is that apparently the medical fraternity is not being totally honest. It's not being transparent about what is known and what is not known. For example, we really don't know how long the immunity lasts with the vaccine. The latest data from Qatar suggests that by about four, five to six months after vaccination, full vaccination, immunity drops to about 20%. Which means that if we are going to vaccinate children to prevent transmission and the efficacy against transmission drops to 20% after about five to six months, it would mean that we'd have to be constantly injecting these children for an indefinite period. And this is against variants, transmission against variants and transmission against the prevailing strains – novel variants and the prevailing strains. So, it means that if our intention in vaccinating, the children are to prevent transmission. Then we'd be looking at bi- or tri-annual injections for kids. Now, I certainly have a problem with that.
I can't see there being any .... this is not good. This is not good medicine. This is not ethical medicine. We have about 4 to 5 months of safety data in children. You can look at the study, Frank Jr. et al. It's not enough. Four - 4 to 5 to 6 months, if you look at the study, it was conducted on 1,131 children who were given the Pfizer vaccine and about 42% of them fell out of the study after two months. And then the rest were followed up for maybe four to six months. They're not very clear in the data. Which means that in such a small study, we cannot really determine the risk of myocarditis. The risk of neurological complications such as myelitis or such as, seizures. We can't really determine the risk of other inflammatory problems. Cardiac problems are high on my list, particularly for males. So, in a such a small study, which such a narrow follow-up, I am not satisfied as a parent that they should be used in any child.
So, I think that we are faced with a very, very important choice as parents. Do we have the information that we need to expose our children to this and the answer to me for anyone who's reading the literature, is a flat-out No. I think it's absolutely unconscionable to use these vaccines in the current state with the current level of safety and efficacy data in children.
As parents, we have to decide: Do we want to subscribe our children to an indefinite program of schedule or regime of regular bi or tri-annual injections? For years to come or perhaps indefinitely which would then be used as a part of a vaccine passport system to allow our children access to schools? This is insane. I think we have to stop now. We must demand accountability. Are we following up for side effects and injuries in children? Are we satisfied with the level of surveillance and monitoring being availed by the Ministry of Health? Or the RHA’s?
Are we satisfied that these cases are being reported? If a child develops an injury or an adverse event, would we take this child to get another injection so that they can go to school? This is a rock and a hard place. This is not, this is an untenable situation for many parents - who have suffered side effects and Adverse Events with the vaccines. They now have to choose to expose their child a second time or maybe a third time in the future or fourth time in the future knowing that the child had problems, either menstrual problems. Maybe they had some kind of chest pains or chest problems and they still have to expose their child knowing, that the child is not really benefiting from it. This is insane, and I've seen that the government has taken the stance that they going to vaccinate children, who are five years and older, as soon as the WHO approves. Has the WHO been acting in good faith? Have they been giving good advice? I don't think so.
So, we are at a very critical juncture where we are tasked now to protect our kids from a future like this. Vaccines in adults, they make some sense, if there are no alternatives, that is; if they are no alternative prophylactics, then there's a good case, then you can say, all right, an adult may benefit from a vaccine Covid-19 vaccine. But how can the children benefit? To me, the potential risks and potential harms vastly outweigh any benefits.
So, this is my position. I think it's a reasonable one and I think I'd like to exercise my right to refuse such a vaccine until we have about four … three to five years sorry. Three to five years I would say, of safety data of these vaccines in KIDS. Go ahead, there's an emergency in adults. Use your emergency authorization of these vaccines in adults, that's fine. But don't touch the kids. The kids, there's no Covid-19 emergency. Therefore, the trial must go through the normal processes. It must go through the normal duration of trial, and the normal rigors needed for a safe and effective vaccine, which entails at least three years of human study, at least three years to prove efficacy against the current strains, against upcoming strains, to rule out antibody dependent enhancement. And to ensure that multiple repeated vaccines, whether it is 1, 2 or 3, it doesn't cause any harm to the child.
If it is that you feel this way as a parent, understand that you must act now; you must take a stance now. I am asking the parents of Trinidad and Tobago to please come forward, please again, ask yourself. Do you want to expose your children to multiple covid-19 injections? Bi- or tri-annually for years to come for your children, knowing that if they do happen to get covid-19, particularly if they are in their teens and particularly, if they are under 12, they will recover fully and will just develop long-term robust natural immunity. So, please, please, look at the data. Think about what I'm saying, and if it is that you feel the same way, join us at Responsible Parents TT and help us to take a stand against this medical tyranny.
Okay, Thank you.