Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

News

Covid-19: Vulnerable children aged 12-15 will be offered Pfizer vaccine, UK announces

BMJ 2021; 374 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1841 (Published 20 July 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n1841

Read our latest coverage of the coronavirus pandemic

Rapid Response:

Re: Covid-19: Vulnerable children aged 12-15 will be offered Pfizer vaccine, UK announces

Dear Editor

I read this with concern for those who are to be offered the product [1]. Only last year BMJ published an article about the seriousness of informed consent in a product with known risks [2]. Will we find children developing heart disease or even dying an acceptable collateral? We used to be told that vaccines were “safe and effective” or “the benefits far outweigh the risks” (a lottery for those who were in fact severely injured) but here we are apparently moving into territory where even net benefit is somewhat in the balance. There is no doubt about the government’s ability to play down the harms or vilify those who have doubts [3,4] and for this reason we need to be all the more careful.

[1] Elisabeth Mahase, ‘ Covid-19: Vulnerable children aged 12-15 will be offered Pfizer vaccine, UK announces’, BMJ 2021; 374 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1841 (Published 20 July 2021)

[2] Peter Doshi, ‘WHO’s malaria vaccine study represents a “serious breach of international ethical standards”’, BMJ 2020; 368 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m734 (Published 26 February 2020)

[3] John Stone, ‘ Regarding the Use of the Term "Anti-Vaxxer", 27 August 2020, https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3099/rr-5

[4] John Stone, ‘ Re: Social media has become the cancer of the society, destroying from within’, 23 February 2021, https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n272/rr-8

Competing interests: AgeofAutism.com, an on-line daily journal, concerns itself with the potential environmental sources for the proliferation of autism, neurological impairment, immune dysfunction and chronic disease. I receive no payment as UK Editor. I also moderate comments for the on-line journal ‘The Defender’ for which I am paid. I am also a member of the UK Medical Freedom Alliance

21 July 2021
John Stone
UK Editor
AgeofAutism.com
London N22