Last week, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards overrode a House of Representatives panel to allow bureaucrats in the Department of Health to add vaccines for the Wuhan coronavirus to the immunization schedule for all levels of schooling. It would take effect for the 2022-23 school year, although parents may opt children in elementary and secondary education out of this, and at present it would apply only to those 16 and older, although this could change to essentially all ages by then depending upon federal government full authorization for vaccine use at younger ages.
This requirement makes little scientific sense. Vaccines don’t stop transmission, so they don’t protect others from getting the virus. Further, the vaccines themselves have a limited range of effectiveness, both in duration and in coverage of ever-mutating strains, unlike any other immunization on the schedule which lasts far longer and almost perfectly suppress the underlying malady. In essence, this virus behaves like its relative influenza, only slightly more lethally to children, yet no one ever has proposed adding flu shots to the schedule.
The most recent research on the issue reveals the absolute lack of necessity for injecting children. U.S. data over the course of the pandemic showed a pediatric infection fatality rate of 0.0155 percent. Yet these data include children with co-morbidities, which across all age groups dramatically increases vulnerability to the virus compared to healthy individuals. A German study using national-level data released last month that separated healthy children discovered among them an IFR of only 0.00057 percent in the age 6-18 group.
In other words, if every single healthy public school student in Louisiana caught the virus and assuming 75 percent of the total enrolled have no co-morbidities, exactly three would die. Given the known statistically significant increase in rare conditions such as myocarditis among (older) children taking the vaccine and the unknown long-term effects of the experimental approach used in these vaccines – and especially since so little data has focused on children in testing – parents who see the risks as greater than the rewards of vaccination can’t be faulted for refusing to submit their children to this injection, and the state has no business in endorsing the approach Edwards has chosen.
These facts back the wisdom of a lawsuit filed last week in response by Republicans Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry and state Rep. Raymond Crews. They contend the legal framework for this process – rule made by agency with power granted by the Legislature, legislative oversight revoking that, but then gubernatorial action overriding – is flawed to take plenary power out of the hands of the Legislature and transfers it unconstitutionally to the executive.
But while the judicial jousting commenced, Democrat New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the Orleans Parish School District went one step further. The former roped into her vaccine passport children as young as 5, while the latter required vaccinations for all students starting Feb. 1. Only New York City and San Francisco to date has applied such draconian standards to those so young, and no school district as yet has gone this far.
The worst of it all is the new virus mutation that will soon become dominant, omicron, vaccines at best protect indifferently against. Preliminary indications are that this diminishes by roughly 40 points against omicron, leaving about 50 percent effectiveness. Undoubtedly, over time an improved vaccine specifically against this will emerge, but a coronavirus is a coronavirus and, just like the flu, it will keep mutating and it will in the long run produce so many strains that no vaccine will provide much effectiveness, making any vaccine passport about it or immunization requirement pertaining to it largely a waste if the goal is to reduce illness. And if the goal is zero COVID, that’s a fantasy.
Both state and New Orleans health officials drone on about how parents can opt out, but that doesn’t apply to college students and it doesn’t excuse bad policy in the first place – policy that so intrudes upon individual autonomy with so little payoff and so much risk borne by children that it equates to state-sponsored child abuse.