A powerful movement is sweeping blue states in America, fueled by fear and Anthony Fauci, to require every student in schools – public and private – to be vaccinated against COVID-19. California’s Governor Gavin Newsom is leading the charge with a first-in-the-nation declaration that all students from youngest to oldest must be vaccinated in order to attend school. His order is prospective by necessity because none of the vaccines available have yet been approved for use in children. But Newsom wants the world to know that as soon as they are, every school-age kid in California must get one.
To say that people are not embracing Newsom’s mandate is an understatement. The other day, hundreds of parents gathered outside the Stanislaus County Office of Education in central California to protest Newsom’s mandate even though county officials have no say-so in what Newsom has decreed. Nonetheless, education leaders in Stanislaus made it clear to the parents and the nation that they agreed with their objections: “[California] should pump the brakes on vaccination requirements and allow parents and pediatricians to decide,” officials said in a statement.
The opinion of parents, pediatricians and education officials matter little when the nation’s “top infectious disease expert,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, has a different viewpoint. Fauci attempted to shut up the parents and other objectors when he cheered the mandate in a statement to the media, “People need to realize that having a vaccine requirement for schools is not a new, novel thing that is very peculiar or specific to COVID-19. We’ve been doing this for decades.”
This is the radical left’s new talking point to counteract parental concerns over mandated COVID vaccinations. “We’ve been doing this for decades.” The trouble for Fauci and the left is that this is an utterly fraudulent and misplaced comparison.
There are a number of required vaccinations that have existed for years, although they deal with illnesses of varying severity. For example, kids must be vaccinated against chickenpox in order to enter kindergarten. When I was a child, kids who came down with chickenpox were considered a cause for celebration – every child in the neighborhood who had not yet been infected with chickenpox was invited to come play at the infected kids’ house so they would all be exposed. This resulted in them gaining natural immunity against chickenpox. Natural immunity, however, does not make pharmaceutical companies any money, hence a mandate that the vaccine be administered instead of chickenpox parties.
What Fauci, and President Joe Biden himself, have referred to as requirements that “have existed for decades” includes the requirement that kids be vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella. The measles vaccine was approved in 1963, mumps in 1967 and rubella in 1969. In 1971, Merck won federal approval for a combined vaccine. By the late 1970s, numerous states required the MMR vaccine in order to attend school. So, in a very broad sense, Fauci and Biden are technically accurate in saying that vaccines have been required for a long time. But this is a complete misdirection. We have not “been doing this for decades.”
Most of the vaccines that are required of school-aged children (MMR, chickenpox, small pox, rotavirus, yellow fever, etc.) are so-called “live vaccines” – they carry a small amount of the germ that produces the disease which creates a strong and long-lasting immune response. We have decades of experience in assessing the efficacy and adverse reactions of these vaccines in school-age children. Thus, parents have a large experiential knowledge base upon which to decide to vaccinate their children.
In contrast, most of the COVID-19 vaccines, including those from Pfizer and Moderna (the two most widespread COVID vaccines) are of a quite new technology called mRNA (messenger RNA). These vaccines do not contain a live virus. Instead, they make specific proteins to trigger an immune response.
We have no experience in assessing the efficacy and adverse reactions over time of these vaccines in school-age children. In fact, only recently did the Pfizer vaccine receive full FDA approval for use in adults. Previously it was made available on an “emergency use” basis only. Nonetheless, in early September Pfizer began submitting data to the FDA on the results of its tests of the vaccine in children ages 5-11. Many observers expect the FDA to grant emergency approval of the vaccine for children in this young age range by the end of this month. Assuming this occurs, Governor Newsom’s mandate will go into effect as soon as possible thereafter, possibly as early as January 2022.
The studies that Pfizer has conducted on children are strictly limited to assessing the vaccine’s initial effectiveness and exploring any immediate adverse effects. They do not attempt to examine long-term reactions, nor could they in such a truncated review.
Will the COVID-19 vaccines pose any long term risks for children? We don’t know, because they have not been tested for very long. In contrast to the decades-long experiential knowledge base relating to the MMR, chickenpox and similar vaccines, there is almost zero experiential knowledge base that parents can assess regarding the COVID vaccines.
There are examples of other childhood vaccines initially thought to be safe that caused long term adverse reactions. For example, researchers found that the Hib vaccine (Haemophilus influenzae type b) for meningitis is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, a risk that exceeds the expected decreased risk of complications from Haemophilus influenzae meningitis. Despite the fact that this vaccine may cause more harm than good for children over the long term, it remains a required vaccine in many states for kids to enter kindergarten.
In the same report that studied the Hib vaccine, researchers wrote, “The incidence of many other chronic immunological diseases, including asthma, allergies, and immune mediated cancers, has risen rapidly and may also be linked to immunisation.”
What options do parents have when their children are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to attend school? Unfortunately, it would appear to be very few. Absent intervention by the courts, Newsom’s mandate will apply to all “in person” instruction – public, private, charter and perhaps even home schools.
In the past when California instituted offensive school and curricula requirements, parents could respond by enrolling their children in alternative education options such as private and parochial schools, and public charter schools. But those options appear to be foreclosed by Newsom’s vaccine mandate. That leaves parents only one other realistic option: leave California. That is exactly what I expect will happen.
People have been on the move out of California for a while now. In fact, the state lost a seat in Congress because of all the people who have exited the state. Leaving California is easier now than it has ever been. The COVID pandemic has demonstrated that many jobs can be performed remotely. Businesses have discovered they no longer need to own or rent office buildings to house their workers. Employees can interact and collaborate virtually through various networking applications. Moreover, those who own homes in California have seen their equity skyrocket in the past few years. They can thus afford to move to another state, purchase a larger home there and still have thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars left over.
A rush to the exits is what you get when you have feckless politicians like Gavin Newsom issuing decrees fueled by fraudulent claims by the likes of Anthony Fauci.