Monday, Pfizer reported that its COVID vaccine is safe for 5-11-year-olds. This was taken as a likely sign that the FDA will approve it and the Biden Administration might mandate it, since the Delta variant is more transmissible and has infected more children. But that was a bridge too far for many parents who think it should be their decision whether the risks of COVID to their children outweigh the risks of possible side effects from a vaccine with no longterm studies.
That hesitancy caused some media figures like columnist David Frum to slam reluctant parents as “Anti-vaxxers,” which has become a kneejerk pejorative hurled at anyone who has questions about the vaccines, no matter how reasonable. Megyn Kelly took Frum to the woodshed over that.
As I’ve said repeatedly, I’ve been vaccinated, and like the vast majority of people, I’ve had no negative side effects. But that doesn’t mean that other people who might be particularly susceptible, or especially parents concerned about their children, should be attacked, ridiculed or told to just shut up when they have legitimate concerns that deserve to be addressed.
It’s likely that the questions are going to multiply in light of the latest undercover video release by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas. It came from a whistleblower who’s a registered nurse at a Health and Human Services-affiliated medical center. She recorded conversations with doctors and other nurses about the high number of patients with serious vaccine side effects and their concern that these reactions weren’t getting reported by the government. One doctor complained that they want “to shove it under the mat.”
If the CDC and other government health agencies want Americans to trust them, then they need to openly address people’s concerns and stop trying to bully them into submission. That only makes them more suspicious. If they’re ever going to win back the public’s trust, the first step would be to start acting trustworthy.