Young children were significantly more likely to have side effects following mRNA Covid jabs than after other vaccines, German researchers reported Tuesday.
The children were also more likely to have severe side effects. Of 7,800 children under five who received mRNA shots, 10 required hospitalization afterwards.
No children who received other shots needed hospitalization.
The German study, which examined Pfizer’s mRNA shots, adds to little-noticed and troubling safety data from Moderna’s own clinical trial of its mRNA jab in children under 5. The reports come even as a federal vaccine advisory committee meets today to consider adding the mRNA shots to the standard childhood vaccine schedule and paving the way for states to require them for school.
Moderna has never published or publicized its clinical trial safety data, which showed that 24 out of fewer than 4,800 children suffered a serious adverse event, such as a high fever or swelling of four inches or more, following the shot.
The rate of 1 in 200 was nearly three times higher than the rate in kids who received a placebo shot. The gap was particularly notable in children under 2; 15 of the 1800 children that age who received the shot had an adverse event, compared to one of the 600 who received a placebo.
One who received the Moderna vaccine suffered a fever so high that he had a seizure, which investigators said was related to the vaccine.
The Moderna side effect data have received little attention because Moderna has failed to publish the trial results in any journal, though the trial ended in February, eight months ago. At that time, Moderna did put out a press release claiming that the trial – which showed that the shots reduced the risk of Omicron infection by about 40 percent – had “successfully met its primary endpoint.”
Instead, the side effect findings are buried in a paper published on the CDC’s Website in June. A Canadian government Website offers additional details. The CDC apparently received the side effect data only after its investigators asked Moderna directly; they are footnoted as “Moderna, 2022. personal communication, March 22 – June 3, 2022.”
The new German paper adds to the concerns around the shots for young children. Germany has not approved the mRNA vaccines for young children, but it allows parents to use them “off-label” if they sign a waiver of informed consent. The researchers contacted about 19,000 parents who had done so to ask about the side effects their children had suffered, and about 7,800 responded.
Side effects appeared to increase with dosing. The most severe symptoms appeared in children given Pfizer’s mRNA shot at doses of 5 or 10 micrograms. In the United States, Pfizer’s mRNA’s shot is only used at a 3 microgram dose in children under 5 – compared to Moderna’s 25 microgram dose.
Side effects severe enough to require hospitalization included a racing heart, breathing problems, and anxiety, the researchers reported. In contrast, no children required hospitalization after receiving over 2900 shots for other vaccines. Children were about 60 percent more likely to have either minor or serious symptoms after receiving the Covid shots than other shots, the researchers said. The difference was statistically significant, meaning it was unlikely to be due to chance..
Vaccine advocates claim that over 1,500 American children and teenagers have died from Covid since 2020. But actual number appears to be significantly lower. A CDC study last year found that 35 percent of reported Covid deaths in people under 18 had “no plausible” connection to Covid. And in kids under 12, deaths appear confined almost exclusively to children with extremely serious comorbidities.
In summary, the mRNA shots:
Have serious side effects in as many as 1 in 200 children;
Appear to have very limited (and possibly negative) efficacy against Omicron;
Would have little benefit in healthy children even if they worked because they are at such low risk from serious side effects from Covid;
And appear about to be added to the standard childhood vaccine list, opening the way for states to require them for public schooling.