A top epidemiologist has expressed concern about a new study released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that claims there is an increased risk of post-COVID-19 conditions for children and teenagers who seek medical care.
In the Aug. 5 CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), researchers say children age 17 and younger with previous bouts of COVID-19 had higher rates of unusual conditions such as myocarditis, cardiomyopathy, kidney failure , type 1 diabetes, and other conditions. The study cited specific disease codes between March 2020 and January 2022.
In conclusion, the agency said that all children, even those as young as 6 months old, should receive vaccines against COVID-19.
“Covid-19 prevention strategies, including vaccination for all eligible individuals aged ≥6 months, are critical to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and subsequent disease and reduce the public health impact of symptoms and conditions after COVID among persons aged 0–17 years,” the CDC wrote.
But epidemiologist Vinay Prasad of the University of California, San Francisco, who has often criticized the CDC and other federal health agencies for their studies during the COVID-19 outbreak, argued CDC researchers push “junk” and “publish poor quality science in MMWR.”
“This does not help the vaccine decision,” he concluded on his Substack page last week. “The paper provides no evidence that vaccination would prevent these outcomes, but worse: where is the evidence that vaccination reduces the risk of these outcomes for a parent making this choice TOMORROW, where there is a 90+ percent chance their child has already had COVID?”
“But more importantly, the document is not conclusive. It is rubbish,” Prasad said. “I don’t know yet if a child who has had asymptomatic COVID, mild COVID, or severe COVID has greater risks than if they didn’t have COVID or had a milder version of COVID. I am interested in this for biological and scientific reasons, but not so much for political reasons as I note.
“If the authors are interested in this question, they will have to rethink the whole study. I think they would want to use serological prevalence to build a cohort and carefully stratify people by severity of disease and work from there. This will require actual work, not just playing with a claims data set.”
The CDC study, he added, did not separate children who were “sick enough to see a health care provider for COVID” from children who went to a provider for reasons other than COVID-19 and “had an established doctor with whom this consultation was easy.’
“They don’t look at vaccination status, which leads to … claims that vaccines can prevent everything they find or that this study shows ‘why vaccines are needed for children’ are unwarranted,” Prasad wrote. “The authors could have explicitly addressed this but chose not to.”
Prasad further alleged that CDC researchers did not look at the child’s vaccination status and “picked a huge and garbage list of ICD codes that could[y] be connected to [COVID].”
“Covid can bring children who do not receive regular care,” the epidemiologist added. “Imagine this: both groups of children have other medical problems at the same rate, but the ‘COVID’ group has more children where COVID drives them to [doctor] for the first time (at least in a while), prompting the diagnosis of other problems.
“The probationers come in for a lot of visits and other issues that are already coded into the system. A positive test for COVID does not “cause” the other problems, but is the event that prompts it to work for someone who has not been seen by [over] 365 days.”
And the unexplained finding that the COVID-positive children were less likely to have mental health conditions, sleep disorders and anxiety suggests that CDC researchers “are comparing apples and oranges all the time,” Prasad said. “Probably theirs [expletive] methods compare children sick enough with COVID to go to the doctor with children suffering school closures, disruption of normal social life, and all the other terrible restrictions placed on children.”
The Epoch Times has reached out to the CDC for comment.