The Brian Mudd Show

The Brian Mudd Show

There are two sides to stories and one side to facts. That's Brian's mantra and what drives him to get beyond the headlines.Full Bio


Q&A of the Day – Publix Policy No Vax For Children Under 5 

Today’s entry: @brianmuddradio Seems to me the media tried to attack Publix for not going along with the child vax. But didn’t the state rec against it?  

Bottom Line: Due to the news cycle this is one I’ve held onto for over a week but that is worth diving into for numerous reasons. First, yes, I’d generally agree with your assessment. Second, I did albeit briefly, speak about this so I’ll forgive you for not having caught my commentary on Publix’s decisions and the subsequent reporting. First, to the point of the state of Florida’s current guidance on child COVID-19 vaccinations for those under the age of 5. The best place to start is with who the Florida Department of Health currently identifies as being vulnerable to COVID-19

  • Patients who are older (≥65 years), have comorbidities, or are immunocompromised  

Right, so to be clear, given the current strain of Covid in society – if you’re not over 65 and/or have comorbidities or are immunocompromised – you're almost certainly not at risk from significant symptoms from contracting COVID-19. And that takes us to the point of COVID-19 vaccines in general at this point. Originally there was proven efficacy at prevention for most people who accepted one of the COVID-19 vaccines. Over time and with mutations however, that efficacy waned. It waned so significantly that by March 25th, the CDC’s own published studied data no longer indicated any proven efficacy at prevention from COVID-19 from the vaccines. What did it show? Two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine averaged a 90% reduction in the risk of hospitalization or death for those at risk. The number rose to a 94% for those who’d received three doses of a vaccine. So, is there a point in still offering COVID-19 vaccines? Yes, for those who are vulnerable. But who’s vulnerable? Once again those over 65, that have comorbidities or are immunocompromised. This isn’t complicated.  

If the only existing proven efficacy is at warding against severe symptoms, not at prevention and only those in the aforementioned categories are at risk of severe symptoms, what’s the point? The fact of the matter, using the CDC’s own published research, is that there isn’t any. And obviously those under five are moons away from being at risk generally. But then again this has always been the case with children of all ages. There never has been supporting science for the Covid vaccines being necessary for the benefit of children in general at any point. To that end, and as I’ve illustrated previously, more children have died of pneumonia than COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. The difference is, when the vaccines still maintained efficacy at prevention, it could be reasoned by some that preventing children from contracting COVID-19 and spreading it to those who were vulnerable was worth doing so. But at this point? There simply is no supporting science. At least not until vaccines which are effective at prevention are available once again. To that end back in May, the Florida Department of Health issued this official guidance: 

The Florida Department of Health (Department) is the first state in the nation to issue guidance stating that healthy children from ages 5 to 17 may not benefit from receiving the currently available COVID-19 vaccine. The Department recommends that children with underlying conditions are the best candidates for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

And more recently came Florida Surgeon General, Dr. Joseph Ladapo’s, recommendation on those under 5 being vaxxed: From what I have seen, there is just insufficient data to inform benefits and risk in children. I think that’s very unequivocal. 

Right, it's unequivocal. So, here’s the thing. And it's yet another big one. The FDA and CDC authorized vaccinating young children. With insufficient data that’s unequivocal. So, what does that tell you? And this takes us back to the Publix policy decision. With the Florida Department of Health not ordering vaccinations for children under five due a complete lack of supporting science – it was up to private providers to make their own decisions. Yes, Publix declined to offer vaccinations to children under five which follows both the recommendation of the Florida Department of Health and is supported by the underlying science. Yes, numerous news organizations attempted to make a big story out of it. Yes, these news organizations and reporters are derelict of duty (which is typical). The real story isn’t why Publix isn’t offering the vaccines. The real story is why all of the providers who've chosen to do so, are doing so in direct contradiction to the Florida Department of Health and without supporting science evidencing benefit for healthy children. They are the businesses and organizations who should have to answer for their decision. We’re talking about young children here. That your news media hasn’t been willing to demand answers in this regard is frankly reprehensible. Instead, the interest, to the extent there was any, was around attempting to smear Publix for following the science and the guidance of the top health authority in this state. 

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Looking at the tablet with her little patients

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