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Dad Daze: The facts about children and vaccinations

UPDATED: Sun., Dec. 5, 2021

Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins drives to the basket against Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes during an NBA game in San Francisco on Nov. 21.  (Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)
Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins drives to the basket against Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes during an NBA game in San Francisco on Nov. 21. (Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

Facts often seem superfluous these days. Folks say and often believe whatever they choose no matter how ridiculous. There’s a rumor buzzing around the country about Anthony Fauci and beagles, which is absurd. Some of what is bandied about is dangerous.

A recent post from the Gateway Pundit caught my son Milo’s attention. “Huge: CDC and Big Pharma Data Confirm That More Children Will Die from COVID Vaccine Than From the COVID Virus” was the very long headline from the conservative website that has on more than one occasion delivered misinformation about COVID-19.

According to the CDC, more than 700 children have died due to COVID-19. However, there isn’t a single documented case of a child perishing due to the vaccine.

We have the freedom to choose in America. Each of my four children is vaccinated. If you decide not to vaccinate, it’s your prerogative since there is no mandate to receive a Pfizer or Moderna shot, but the reality is that COVID-19 is the seventh leading cause of death for children ages 5-11 and even higher than that for kids 12-18.

COVID-19 is much more dangerous than the flu. This isn’t about politics, it’s about life and death. An argument against the inoculation is that the vaccine was rushed, and we simply don’t know enough about what is being injected into our bodies.

Well, we still don’t know everything about COVID-19. Scientists are discovering more each day. Could it be like measles, which can cause fatal complications 20 years after a person contracts the disease?

We have no idea if COVID-19 will have similar long-term implications for children. The vaccine minimizes the risk of infection. For those who are afraid of side effects, no vaccine in existence has had any side effects more than two months from the point of vaccination.

Some kids have needle issues, but the shot doesn’t hurt. “All of the needles I had for my 11-year (doctor’s visit) were a lot more painful than my COVID shot,” my daughter Jane said.

Jane, 12, had no side effects. That’s not surprising since children receive a smaller dose of the vaccine than adults. Side effects are minimized while still offering protection.

“Aside from being safe, you can do things once you get vaccinated,” Milo said. You don’t want your kids to miss out. While in California during the summer, vaccination cards were required to enter concerts, restaurants and museums.

A month ago, one of Milo’s hockey teammates contracted COVID-19. The only players who were eligible to play in games the following weekend were those who were vaccinated.

“We understand it,” Milo said. “That’s the way it goes. Those are the rules. The guys who weren’t vaccinated and couldn’t play wish they were vaccinated.”

In other words, Milo’s teammates asked their parents if they could be like Andrew Wiggins, who was reluctant to get the shot but decided to join the majority since he could play once again with the Golden State Warriors. And then there is Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, who refuses to comply and can’t play for his team, which could use him.

“It’s interesting since Kyrie is a role model for a lot of kids,” Milo said. Irving’s also a role model for a lot of adults. Many of whom were at an anti-vaccine rally in Brooklyn last month outside the Nets’ arena, the Barclay Center, chanting Irving’s name.

The future is uncertain. COVID-19 blindsided much of America. Many thought life would be back to normal in a week or two when life, as we knew it, changed drastically during March 2020.

“This might not go away,” Milo said about COVID-19. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we have to live with this. If you look at history, there are turning points.”

Milo, 16,who has finally embraced academia, knows that we must know our history to chart our future. “One of the most important things for us is to have the ability to adapt,” Milo said. “We have to do what is necessary to move on.”

Part of moving on is embracing facts again and not blurting out blatant, outrageous falsehoods. Can we ever unite for the greater good like my parents did many moons ago?

Unity is essential in this fractured country, and so is safety. Our children are indeed our future. Let’s make sure they have an opportunity to change the world.

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