6 May 2021

It is a profound blessing that children are barely affected by COVID-19 — we have not seen deaths in previously healthy children in Britain. There have sadly been a very small number of children with serious life-limiting conditions who have died with COVID-19, but paediatricians can already organise vaccination for very high risk children under compassionate grounds, once the risk and benefits have been carefully weighed up. We don’t need to vaccinate healthy children for the sake of vulnerable ones. We also do NOT need to vaccinate healthy children to provide herd immunity for adults.

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29 April 2021

Decades of evidence on viral seasonality, acquired immunity, prior immunity are being ignored, with those in charge claiming that the virus will wreak havoc if we go about our normal lives. Most people agree that, on some level, the rules don’t make any sense. And yet still they remain.

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22 April 2021

Mortality risk from COVID-19

The constant portrayal of COVID-19 as a threat has caused distortion in people’s perception of their risk of dying from it, if they are unlucky enough to catch it. This data will be an overestimate as it comes from table 1 of this study published in August 2020. The study estimated an overall infection fatality rate in Western Europe to be over 1% and even Professor Neil Ferguson agrees that it is more like 0.8% with WHO estimates now substantially lower than that.

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16 April 2021

Restrictions pose more of a threat than COVID-19

After several weeks of minimal cases being found in the community and weekly deaths below normal levels we are still locked down. Lockdown costs us about £500m a day and every day brings more businesses to the brink. Over 4.7 million people are now waiting for NHS operations. Between March 2020 and January 2021 there were 350,000 fewer cancer referrals to hospitals than expected, a shortfall which is still growing. Education is still being interrupted with universities not returning to face-to-face teaching until 17 May. ..

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8 April 2021

Child vaccine trials paused

The trial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine in children has been paused while a possible link with blood clots in adults is investigated. Given that the phase 3 adult vaccine trials to establish long-term safety data are on-going and are not due to conclude until late 2022/early 2023, the question remains why were trials in children ever started? The risks to children from COVID-19 remain extremely low and any suggestion that children should be vaccinated to protect adults is ethically highly questionable.

HART’s position remains that it is unnecessary, unethical and should be strongly discouraged until long-term safety data in adults are complete. HART would also remind regulators, the media and politicians that these are experimental vaccines, without full regulatory approval but issued under emergency waivers. It is vital that data is collected and rigorous scrutiny of vaccine effects is completed and letters such as this one in The BMJ must surely be followed up as a matter of urgency…

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