My testimony to the Alaskan Senate Health Committee on COVID vaccine mandates and discrimination by vaccination status

March 1, 2022

Dear Chairperson and Members of the Senate Health and Social Services committee:

Thank you for allowing me to present some of the latest information on COVID vaccinations, made public yesterday by New York’s Department of Health and by the United Kingdom’s Department of Health and Social Care, today.

The data from over 365,000 children aged 5 through 11 in New York state revealed that by one month after they were fully vaccinated, there was almost no protection remaining against COVID.  By five weeks, fully vaccinated children aged 5-11 were at higher risk of developing COVID than unvaccinated children, with the increase in risk becoming even greater over time.

For 852,000 New York children aged 12 through 17, protection after one month ranged between 40% and 67%, dropping gradually but steadily over the next several weeks. 

While it might seem that boosters could be the answer, Europe’s FDA, termed the European Medicines Agency, warned against too many boosters and their potential to cause immune damage on January 13, 2022.

Unfortunately, we are finally coming around to acknowledge that is no way to control the spread of COVID and its variants.  For that reason, many states are already lifting their mask mandates and vaccine mandates are starting to go away.  

In the UK, COVID vaccine mandates for health care workers were recently lifted.  And an online poll of 90,000 people, conducted by the UK government and published today, found that 90% of respondents wanted no healthcare worker mandates, while only 9% were in favor of them. 

Both the data and the people have spoken.  Vaccine mandates for children make no scientific sense.  Vaccine mandates for healthcare workers are unwanted by both the workers themselves and the public they serve.

Discrimination by vaccination status, when the benefit of vaccination rapidly declines, and the vaccinated can catch and spread COVID, is illogical and arbitrary.  Please vote in favor of SB156.

Meryl Nass, MD

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/28/health/pfizer-vaccine-kids.html

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.02.25.22271454v1.full.pdf  —  NY DOH preprint

Pfizer Shot Is Far Less Effective in 5- to 11-Year-Olds Than in Older Kids, New Data Show

While protection against hospitalization is still strong, the vaccine offered almost no protection against infection, even just a month after full vaccination.

 The Pfizer vaccine is the only Covid shot authorized for that age group in the United States. It still prevents severe illness in the children, but offers virtually no protection against infection, even within a month after full immunization, the data, which were collected during the Omicron surge, suggest.

The sharp drop in the vaccine’s performance in young children may stem from the fact that they receive one-third the dose given to older children and adults, researchers and federal officials who have reviewed the data said.

The findings, which were posted online on Monday, come on the heels of clinical trial results indicating that the vaccine fared poorly in children aged 2 to 4 years, who received an even smaller dose.

Experts worried that the news would further dissuade hesitant parents from immunizing their children. Other studies have shown the vaccine was not powerfully protective against infection with the Omicron variant in adults, either.

“It’s disappointing, but not entirely surprising, given this is a vaccine developed in response to an earlier variant,” said Eli Rosenberg, deputy director for science at the New York State Department of Health, who led the study. “It looks very distressing to see this rapid decline, but it’s again all against Omicron…“‘

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https://www.voanews.com/a/eu-drug-regulator-warns-against-overuse-of-covid-booster-shots/6395174.html

EU Drug Regulator Warns Against Overuse of COVID Booster Shots

(Voice of America, January 13, 2022)

The European Union’s drug regulator is warning that too many doses of COVID-19 vaccines could eventually weaken the body’s immune system, rendering the extra shots ineffective.

Marco Cavaleri, the head of vaccine strategy for the European Medicines Agency, said earlier this week that booster shots can be administered “once, or maybe twice, but it’s not something that we think should be repeated constantly.” Cavaleri said instead that boosters should be administered just like an annual flu vaccination.

Cavaleri is the latest health expert to urge against offering a fourth shot of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to provide extra protection against emerging variants of the coronavirus. Britain’s Health Security Agency said last week there was “no immediate need” for people to get a fourth shot, as the current booster regimens are providing good levels of protection. The World Health Organization has repeatedly said that providing first doses to poorer nations is a higher priority than richer nations offering boosters…”

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UK Department of Health and Social Care Report, March 1, 2022 

Consultation outcome

Revoking vaccination as a condition of deployment across all health and social care: consultation response

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/revoking-vaccination-as-a-condition-of-deployment-across-all-health-and-social-care/outcome/revoking-vaccination-as-a-condition-of-deployment-across-all-health-and-social-care-consultation-response

“The consultation was available through an online survey hosted on gov.uk from 9 to 16 February 2022, and over 90,000 responses were submitted.”

90% of respondents to this question in the consultation supported revoking the requirement for COVID-19 vaccination in health and social care settings, with only 9% expressing opposition to revocation.

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