DRAFT LETTER TO SCMP.
(UPDATE: I haven’t sent this for various reasons amongst which that HK does seem to have more infections and deaths of youngsters than Singapore, for reasons unknown. Meantime experts in the US are questioning the CDC decision to promote vaccines amongst the very young. The data is not there they say. So the while issue of how young we should be vaccinating is an open question).
Our Health Minister Lo Chun-mau has said he will ignore "foreign theories", on how to handle Covid. Does this mean he will ignore foreign data as well?
Specifically on the issue of vaccinating our "toddlers".
The decision to vaccinate our toddlers is based, we are told, on a study by HKU ("… jab for toddlers gets green light…" SCMP, 3 August 2022)
I can't find that study online. Neither the government nor the Post has given us a link. The closest I find is quotations from the study in The Standard, but those figures don't tally with those quoted in yesterday's Post article.
The Post quoted the HKU study:
Number studied: not statedChildren in ICU = 1.3%Children deaths = 2%.
Number studied: 1,147childrenChildren in ICU = 1.3%Children deaths = 0.2%. “Llikely overstated percentage because many infected children with few or no symptoms have stayed at home". Note: 1/10th of the Post figure on death rates. (Figures at the government’s website are 1/200 th)
Meantime a recent large-scale study of children in Singapore seems to have been ignored. Its conclusions in a nutshell:
Number studied: 255,936 (67.7% fully vaccinated)Children in ICU = Four. Or 002% (650 times fewer than the Post quotes)Children deaths: ZeroAdverse effects requiring ICU admission: 22
The study concludes “Our findings indicate the protective effect of vaccination against infection and severe illness.” Protection against ad issuing to ICU was less clear, while there were 22 "adverse events" from the vaccines requiring intensive care. That is 4.4 times the number of children in ICU from Covid. Surely this is relevant when considering vaccines for our own children?
It might be objected that I'm comparing apples and oranges as the HKU study was of unvaccinated kids, the Singapore study of both unvaccinated and vaccinated. But that's exactly the point. The Singapore study enables us to compare and includes issues of adverse events to properly weigh the risks and benefits of vaccinating the very young. (The Singapore study is of the Pfizer vax, while HK will start with Sinovac. But we will inject Pfizer as soon as supplies are available).
In sum: we have the government acting on an HKU paper, unpublished, non-peer reviewed study of just over 1,100 children, with figures that are massively higher than a large-scale peer-reviewed, published study of over 255,000 children. The latter study indicates higher "adverse events" than those in ICU from Covid, a fact ignored, as far as one can tell, in the HKU study.
This is an important issue for our cherished young ones.
Why can't we have links to studies driving these decisions? Or is the government simply acting because worried parents want them to "do something"?
Is it too much to ask for more transparency? For more links to studies quoted? For information on "adverse events"?
Or is that just another silly "foreign theory"?
The NEJM is: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2203209. You can get it by Googling "NEMJ children study"
The "HKU Study" I have Googled but get nothing than the The Standard article.
And, by the way, I'm far from anti-vax. Our whole family is triple vaxxed.