Science dealt Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards another blow, and Orleans Parish School District officials even more of these, with the latest data out about one Wuhan coronavirus vaccine’s effectiveness on children. That can’t help their cause promoting mandates for kids to take the jab.
Late last year, over legislator objections, Edwards forced onto the academic year 2022-23 vaccination schedule inoculation for this virus. His muddled reasoning leaned heavily on ideology because the facts – principally that while for children as a whole the virus is more deadly that the flu, but infinitesimally deadly that poses as close to zero risk as conceivable for children and there are elevated levels of side effects that go with vaccination plus a bevy of unknowns – gave him little support for his action. Now, his case has deteriorated even further.
Recently available data, as part of a study undergoing peer review of over a million New York schoolchildren, shows the Pfizer variety works minimally among older children and not at all after about a month among the younger. This mirrors another study of adults that shows after a few months’ protection disappears and at that point the vaccinated become more likely to catch it than the unvaccinated (with many in this category already having had it, developing natural defenses). The culprit appears to be the omicron variant’s architecture, where vaccines initially were developed around other strains. Several accomplished epidemiologists argued the results erase any case for such vaccinations, especially among the youngest, and suggest this would prove universal across different vaccines and variants.
The results highlight the futility of vaccination as any kind of global solution to limit the virus’ reach. As with the flu, mutations come thick and fast with so many varieties out there that annual flu shots guess at what will be that season’s dominant strain, and good luck with the others. Like the flu, this coronavirus has become endemic, and the world never will be rid of it, so policy must adapt to that.
Which doesn’t mean forcing toddlers to get stuck just to go to school. Clearly the costs involved will outweigh the benefits for many families – and they have the option, regardless of state school mandates, whether to vaccinate their child if they feel otherwise – and so shouldn’t be forced into making a potentially useless, if not bad, choice regarding their children. And just like the drunk that insists he’s sober every time the subject of boozing comes up, in discussing the mandate state officials like Edwards always hasten to add that state law lets families opt out of any vaccination, completely dodging the point that the state shouldn’t mandate inferior policy in the first place and apparently in a way that is self-defeating, for if the goal is to reduce the deleterious effects of the virus if not eradicate it, then imposing in essence a vaccination-optional policy won’t work anyway.
As bad and ignorant as Edwards and his advisers appear on this, Orleans school board members and administrators look worse. They didn’t wait and imposed the vaccination requirement for fulfillment early in the current term. There’s already some indication that Orleans parents are voting with their children’s feet over the district’s overall pandemic policy: despite a slowly growing city population and an environment close to normal last October, enrollment in the Orleans district fell about 1,500 students from February of last year when operations were much more disrupted, and figures to be released soon may show enrollment as of last month lower still.
In light of this new data, Orleans officials should halt immediately this policy, and Edwards should backtrack on his decision for next academic year. That may be wishful thinking, as the political left likes to make great show of appearing to offer solutions (always injecting the state more into people’s lives) that optimistically do nothing except signal virtue and alleged caring but more often and pessimistically make matters worse. Symbolism, not beneficial results, primarily matters to liberals, so we shouldn’t hold out breath waiting for these policy-makers to do the right thing.