How dare an economics professor say something.... correct and hard to argue with
The internet is once again angry that Emily Oster, Brown Professor of Economics, is saying obvious things. Here is the latest quote:
Of course, she is right. First of all, uptake for vaccine in the 5 to 11 year old group is already slow. Second, other nations think differently about the benefit/ risk balance of widespread vaccination of healthy 5 to 11 year olds, given high rates of seroprevalence (btw it is even harder to make someone who already recovered, better off), and the fact the mRNA vaccine is not for the current circulating strain but an older ancestral strain. But put all that aside, because Prof Oster’s point is about a 4 year old.
There is no FDA authorized vax for a 4 year old. The trial for 6 mo to 4 yo has, to date, failed, and a 3rd dose is being added. The White House has bungled the messaging (read my article in City Journal), so naturally parents will be reluctant.
Obviously the risk benefit balance will be different. To be honest, we do not know the risk benefit balance in 4 year olds — because the data has not been reported— but the absolute risks are so vastly different, that certainly the calculus will vary. Prof Oster is absolutely right that we should relax about this age group.
PS for the folks who say we have to vaccinate very young kids because of the benefit to other people. I hope you know you are literally making things up. There is no credible data that vaccinating a 5 year old helps an 85 year old, and none that a 4 year old will help a 72 year old. The vaccine has diminishing effectiveness against symptomatic infection, which does not bode well for transmission, and at this point is clear that no matter what we do, every person on earth will have breakthrough infection. So please stop speculating.
This is all obvious stuff btw. That is why a smart economist sees it. The response to her comment is, as usual, shameful and embarrassing for speakers who do not think as clearly as she does.