The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has proven once again how tone-deaf it is. The CDC’s independent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted 15–0 last week to add most Covid-19 vaccines offered in the U.S. to the childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization schedules. The schedules reflect a summary of existing ACIP recommendations. While they carry no legal weight, they are highly influential, especially for states and localities formulating school-entry vaccination requirements. And that is problematic.
The FDA has only approved through its normal, rigorous procedures two mRNA Covid vaccines: the Pfizer-BioNTech primary series vaccine for people twelve and older and the Moderna primary series vaccine for people 18 and older. The other two available vaccines — Johnson & Johnson’s viral-vector vaccine and Novavax’s protein-subunit vaccine — as well as the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for younger age groups, are only authorized for emergency use. This is a different and less rigorous process than full FDA approval.
Unlike the other recommended childhood vaccines which interfere with and prevent infection, the Covid vaccines have limited effectiveness in preventing disease transmission. Their primary benefit is in reducing the severity of Covid once you catch it.