Vinay, Excellent piece. Probably the part that most needs retelling is that the CDC and the FDA and the NIH are all entirely unreliable and cannot be trusted, at all, for anything. The FDA is even worse than the CDC if such a thing can be believed. At least the CDC still meets its expert committees, not that those meetings have any value.

If judges understood that this is all a sham, they would come down more often on the side of "the right decision". You are in California -- under 2098 what you just wrote will cost you your license. You should write about that, too. We need to change the general societal understanding of how badly everyone has been had by corrupt bureaucracy to make decisions like this, often decided by the courts, be more correct, more often.

You have the forum and I am thrilled when you use it. But a frontal assault on the disseminators of misinformation, and I specifically mean the White House, the CDC, the FDA and the NIH will have to be won before the underlying social pressures that are going to kill some number of children have the proper denouement. So please...more of that.

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Sep 26, 2022·edited Sep 27, 2022

I appreciate this piece, Dr. Prasad. My brother was in exactly this predicament with his ex-wife; my brother did not want the children to have the Covid vax, but their mom decided that the 8 and 10 year olds should make this decision (they both got the vaccine due to peer pressure). I throughly agree with you, that under 12s should not make this decision.

I question the assumptions here - "Ultimately, parents who don't get their way...should feel some solace that the decision is not that important in the grand scheme of life." This assumes the short- and long-term risks are extremely minimal. Can we really be sure of that? What if there are long-term risks, that will show up in 5-10 years? Has anyone done a thorough study on the short term risks in children? (E.g. more studies like the Thailand study, which found additional cardiovascular risks when they bothered to look.) Until these vaccines are proven safe, how do we know that myocarditis is the only risk?

Given that the effectiveness in healthy children is questionable, and we are lacking important safety studies, I don't think we can assume them to be safe NOR effective in children.

I am not a doctor, but until we know the safety and effectiveness, I would think we need to lean on no intervention (first, do no ham).

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Thank you for another thoughtful piece. Sadly, in places like here (Portland, Oregon) this decision would probably extend beyond “mere” medical considerations. Many (many) activities are still out of reach for children (of any age) who are not vaccinated. Therefore, a parent could feel vaccination important for their child NOT on medical grounds, but in order to sustain a “normal” childhood. This social manipulation of what should be a medical decision is unbelievably sad. My teen boy has been clear about the anger he feels concerning his inability to participate in many activities and now even the college of his choice because he has chosen to rely on his natural immunity. I wonder how this aspect would weigh on a judge… And hope those activities and locations still requiring proof of vaccination for children will feel the full weight of some serious judgement in the future…

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Agreed! I'm in Seattle and know where you are coming from. It's so tragic and sadly, those making these rules have undoubtedly never cracked open a single safety or efficacy study.

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Thankfully I am in Texas, where life has pretty much returned to normal. We were also fortunate that our young adult children were attending a sane college that did not require vaccination. I recently saw a list of schools that did not require vaccination - many state schools and others are not pushing the insanity of the elite schools of the northeast. Hopefully your son will find a place he likes that would recognize natural immunity. This is so wrong.

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"The agency is entirely incompetent." - What a tragic admission from a public professional.

In the case presented the children should not use these mRNA vaccines. Their long term risk is too high. No children should ever have been and seems the public agrees given the low uptake. Much like the bivalent boosters, the public is wisely saying no.

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When children became eligible for vaccination, my wife and I disagreed about vaccinating our then 12 year-old daughter. Dr. Prasad, you helped us resolve our argument. I trusted your judgement, having read "Ending Medical Reversal" a few years ago, and I didn't know your opinions on Covid or the vaccines, so I decided you would make a good arbiter. I told my wife I would go along with vaccination if you advised it, then I found a VPZD in which you said that one shot was reasonable for a child. My wife was OK with one shot, so that's what we did.

Of course, if your advice had been not to vaccinate, then we would still have been stuck --- my wife wasn't ready to skip vaccination completely on your say-so.

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"The agency is entirely incompetent. I wouldn't trust their opinion on anything. If there's ever a new plague, I will have to read everything myself. Can't trust those people"

That is the most important part of your article. A divorce has so much nuance and I can't imagine being in the situation of needing to go to court regarding a medical decision. But, if we can't trust those putting policy in place how can a doctor or court help parents come to an agreement?

Many of us started to lose faith in the CDC as the pandemic progressed. When it came time to vax our children we had no faith left. We read everything ourselves and tried to make sense of a subject we never studied in school. We questioned our decisions daily as our children were excluded or bullied. Were we being led astray by conspiracy theorists? Were we really sure we could trust anyone?

Our children are still not allowed to participate in certain activities in 2022. One example of many- My school age children went to sleep away camp in the summer of 2021 but weren't allowed back in 2022 because of vax status. Camps and businesses are following CDC guidelines. They were bullied on the playground and kids taunted them for their status. It has been awful.

PLEASE continue to explore this subject. I have been listening to you from the beginning of this crazy time in my attempt to see all sides of this issue. I haven't always agreed but I also respect your knowledge and it kept me open to hearing all information. Something that people on both sides of this issue should be doing, but the loudest aren't. And, people who are scared listen to the loudest in the room.

It has been heartening to listen as you slowly recognize what many of us have felt. There were few well respected, mainstream doctors to validate our feelings and laymen research with facts. We need you to push for a change. Thank you for all your wisdom and thoughtful insight.

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Thank you for this article. You have been a consistent voice of sanity and reason in a crazy world of post-covid life. What makes me sad, as a physician, is that I no longer can trust the CDC or the FDA or the NIH. This was not the case when I graduated from medical school way back in 1988 and it is concerning, to say the least. When the government orders doses prior to approval, approval is made without full studies, and seeming reactions and side effects to previous vaccinations are summarily dismissed or ignored, when natural immunity is ignored or denied as effective, when no change in vaccine policy is made based on age, underlying risk factors, etc. we know we are not “following the science”, but instead some other reason is dictating policy. Whether that is fear, politics, big pharma actually being in charge, or corruption I do not know, but we are not in a good place in this country when it comes to the federal health agencies, and something must be done.

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Unfortunately vaccine differences among co-parents is only one of the many issues impacting family court decisions. The family court system is rife with a lack of evidence-based practice.

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I wanted to wait last year. At least not have my kids be first in line. I made my case and felt heard but it was something my wife still wanted to move forward with in time for the holidays. I figured it was low risk either way and so while I disagreed I wouldn't stop her. The kids are fine but it was intense. I appreciate this article getting into it and in particular this quote, "They should be careful that they are not transferring their anxiety about other life challenges to this decision, giving it false grandeur and importance." There was definitely some of that in the emotions around the decision. I had moments of not feeling respected that made it rough but in the end we moved together on it. What is unfortunate is that as rare as it should be with kids there will be families where this decision may end up mattering. Either do to vaccine injury, or from having a bad case of Covid. And its sad to think how that splinter relationships. My Dad always would remind me when I asked who's fault was a car accident that when it came to driving, 'you can be dead right'. Goes for life to.

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