Police said they were investigating threatening and abusive comments against paediatricians that were posted on social media, to establish whether criminal offences had been committed. The Cyprus Paediatric Society had filed a complaint to the police through a lawyer after a number of comments appeared on social media reacting to the society’s call for the vaccination of children between 12 and 15 years of age.
Sixteen- and 17-year-olds had already been urged to get the Covid jab, without there being a similar reaction. Declaring, however, that all children over 12 should now be vaccinated appears to have been a step too far and parents have every right to be angry, especially given that until a couple of months ago we were being told there was no need to have children vaccinated. It seems only a matter of time before paediatricians decide that all children should be vaccinated.
Threats of violence against doctors are unacceptable and should be investigated, but an angry reaction is understandable under the circumstances. The Paediatric Society, probably after consultations with the scientific advisory team and the health ministry, advised the immediate inclusion of children between 12 and 15 in the vaccination programme without any attempt to explain its reasoning and justification, other than repeating the standard, official line that “the benefits of vaccinating this age group far outweighs any potential risks.”
Is anyone certain the benefits far outweigh the potential risks? The only data provided was that 20 per cent of Covid cases concerned children. How many out of this 20 per cent suffered symptoms heavier than the flu and how many needed hospitalisation? Why have parents not been given this information so they can make a better-informed decision as to whether their children should be vaccinated, instead of just being ordered by the Paediatric Society to have their children vaccinated.
Any parent would react angrily to this advice. And it is a healthy sign that there are parents who do not unquestioningly accept what the medical community and the government tells them is good for their child. According to the scientists, children were not at risk from Covid-19 so we can only conclude that vaccinating children of 12 and 13 is to protect the older members of society from the spread of the virus.
But as the elderly are vaccinated and protected, why should children be forced to be vaccinated, especially when nobody really knows how the vaccine will affect a child? Common sense – not scientific expertise – would suggest having children that have developed immunity through having a light form of the virus is a better option than vaccinating them? The problem is that we are given only data that support the government decisions which we are expected to follow without question.
In the case of child vaccination parents are not prepared to accept the official decision obediently. They are perfectly within their rights to challenge it, as long as they avoid threats against anyone.