The Covid Children’s Crusade.

For a country that is radically pro-abortion for all nine months of pregnancy, is it a surprise that children will be sacrificed to the Covid gods?

In a sane era, no ethics review board would allow doctors to bribe young children to undergo a treatment with unknown dangers and minuscule benefits. But medical ethics are just one more casualty of the Covid pandemic, as Bill de Blasio cheerfully demonstrated at a recent press conference. New York’s mayor announced that children aged five and older would get $100 for being vaccinated against Covid—and then he made a direct pitch to those too young to appreciate the size of the city’s bribe.

“It buys a whole lot of candy,” the mayor explained.

Norms of science and medicine have been flouted throughout the pandemic, but the campaign to vaccinate schoolchildren represents a new low. It’s being led by the Centers for Disease Control with the help of politicians, journalists, and Sesame Street’s Big Bird (who appeared in a CNN special proselytizing children). Ninety-five percent of people in low-income countries haven’t yet received one dose, but officials supposedly dedicated to public health want to deplete the world’s still-limited supply by vaccinating more than 50 million young Americans at minimal risk from the disease. While some children with underlying medical conditions could benefit, no compelling case can be made for mandating universal vaccination in schools, which is under consideration in some states and has already been decreed by California’s governor.

Based on seroprevalence surveys, it appears that close to half of American schoolchildren have already had Covid. (The estimate was about 40 percent as of June and has undoubtedly risen during the spread of the Delta variant.) Children who’ve already had measles or chickenpox aren’t required to be vaccinated against those diseases. Why should tens of millions of kids with natural immunity against Covid be pressured to get a vaccine with known side effects? Federal officials have offered various answers, none convincing. The CDC continues to insist that infection is not proved to confer strong immunity and even published a study purporting to show that vaccinations offer better immunity. But as Martin Kulldorff of Harvard Medical School showed, that study was badly flawed and is contradicted by more rigorous research demonstrating that natural immunity is much stronger and longer-lasting than vaccine immunity.

For children without immunity, a vaccine would lessen the risk of being hospitalized or dying—but that risk for most children is already tiny, particularly for younger kids. (So is the risk of severe “long Covid,” and it’s questionable that vaccination would offer additional protection.) Among the 28 million Americans aged five to 11, the CDC counted just 66 Covid fatalities in the year ending in October, less than the number who died from the flu in 2019. And the Covid tally is surely an overcount that includes children who happened to test positive but actually died from other causes. (Two-thirds of them had at least one other underlying condition.) In studies analyzing the hospital records of children classified as Covid cases, researchers found that nearly half of the children showed no symptoms of the disease and were being treated for other problems.

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