The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on March 15, removed tens of thousands of deaths linked to COVID-19, including nearly a quarter of deaths it had attributed to children.
In a statement to Reuters, the CDC said it made adjustments to the mortality data on its COVID data tracker website because its algorithm was “accidentally counting deaths that were not COVID-19-related.”
“Data on deaths were adjusted after resolving a coding logic error. This resulted in decreased death counts across all demographic categories,” the CDC said on its website. The agency also acknowledged COVID death data is not complete.
The agency also acknowledged COVID death data is not complete.
Prior to the adjustment on March 15, the CDC attributed 851,000 deaths to COVID-19, including 1,755 pediatric deaths, according to Kelley Krohnert, a Georgia resident who tracks CDC updates. After the change, COVID-19 related deaths dropped to 780,000.
The change resulted in the removal of 72,277 deaths previously reported across 26 states, including 416 pediatric deaths — a reduction of 24% to 1,341, the agency said.
The CDC’s COVID statistics are used to justify which age groups should receive vaccines and were used by U.S. health agencies to support the authorization of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old.
The CDC’s inaccurate statistics are used to justify which age groups should receive COVID vaccines, and were used to support the authorization of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for children.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC’s director, referred to the tracker’s death total on November 2021, while pushing for an expert panel to advise her agency to recommend vaccination for all children 5 to 11 years old.
Children with comorbidities at higher risk of death
According to Reuters, Moderna plans to report trial data in 2- to 5-year-olds in March and may seek authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration “if the data is supportive and subject to regulatory consultation.”
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla during a March 13 episode of CBS’ “Face the Nation” said he expects to have a vaccine ready for children aged 6 months to 4 years old “potentially in May if it works.”
Johnson & Johnson has a late-stage trial of its vaccine for 12- to 17-year-olds but nothing for the younger group.
It is unknown whether the pharmaceutical giants will use the CDC’s most recent COVID numbers in their risk-benefit analysis presented to U.S. health agencies to determine whether the risks of COVID outweigh the potential risks of vaccines in children. But data suggests the risk of COVID in children is exceedingly low.
Children account for only 19% of all COVID cases, with .01% of childhood cases resulting in death, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
According to the International Journal of Infectious Diseases 42 studies containing 275,661 children without comorbidities and 9,353 children with comorbidities showed severe COVID was present in 5.1% of children with comorbidities, and only 0.2% without comorbidities.
Random-effects analysis showed a higher risk of severe COVID among children with comorbidities than for healthy children.
According to the most recent data from the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, there have been 9,161 adverse events, including 217 rated as serious and 5 reported deaths among children aged 5 to 11 following COVID vaccines, and 30,295 adverse events, including 1,744 rated as serious and 42 reported deaths among 12- to 17-year olds.