The VRBPAC meeting that approved vaccines for young kids did not at all sound like people who are mindlessly pro-vaccine
As always, you have written a thoughtful essay. However I would like to quibble with one of your points, specifically that the gold standard of the vaccines was always to prevent severe disease . It was not presented that way as I recall; I believe it was presented as a way to end the pandemic and as highly preventive of infection, hospitalization and death. With the passage of time it has become clear it does not prevent infection. Studies that want to continue to claim that it reduces hospitalization and death due to Covid need to adjust for multiple confounders, including but not limited to: age, gender, ethnicity of the patient; Comorbid illnesses known to affect survival; vaccination status that includes which vaccine and the date of the vaccination as we know that effectiveness of the vaccines declines overtime. I would also like to know what early treatments, if any, the Covid patients received. This is a rather tall order. In the meantime, I am hoping we get additional vaccines to choose from, and in particular ones that directly target the Delta variant.
You can't listen to science because science cannot speak. It's not an entity, it's a process for learning about the world.
Sounds to me like they knew that this would result in way too many kids being given these things when they shouldn't and they did it anyway. That to me is irresponsible.
Excellent write up. That's an especially good point there at the end - the gate the panel had to work with is either open or closed. It sounds to me like they chose to open it for the right reasons - to let parents and doctors make the choice as they see best given individual circumstances. My kids will get the vaccine, mostly because they'll be visiting their grandmother in a community with a lot of senior citizens. It may be a trivial reduction in the amount of risk for my kids, but even that small amount is worth it (imho) given the much higher risks the virus presents to the elderly. It's also one more argument for ending masking in school (and everywhere else).
I listened to this discussion live and had the exact same takeaways as you, yet this is one of the few recaps I’ve read pointing out the nuance of the discussion, thank you. I listened to a bit of the CDC’s meeting on the 5 to 11 approval and it didn’t seem as interesting, but I only listened to a bit of it.
Great summary. I wonder if the doctors that expressed frustration with the binary choice could have forced a second discussion/vote on whether a mandate would be appropriate. Not sure if you have any insight on how the questions that get voted on are formed.