Republican House Doctors Caucus is calling on Dr. Eric Rubin, a professor at Harvard Medical School, to retract statements he made during the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) panel discussion on whether to endorse Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 to 11.
During the October panel discussion, Rubin said, “And yet, we’re worried about a side effect that we can’t measure yet, but it’s probably real.” Adding, “But we’re never going to learn about how safe this vaccine is unless we start giving it. That’s just the way it goes.”
Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.) led the group of House Republican Doctors in sending a letter to Dr. Rubin on Thursday calling on him to correct the comments he made during the panel discussion.
Rubin was part of a panel of independent advisers to the FDA who on Oct. 29 granted emergency-use authorization of Pfizer’s jab for children 5–11 after its advisory panel, except for one abstention, recommended doing so. panel was in agreement with Pfizer’s own data that the vaccine is 90.7 percent safe for children.
Dr. Rubin said there is much more to learn about the vaccine as it relates to children.
“I agree with Dr. Cohn we want to save the kids … and I do think that it will be useful to have a lot more information though, to determine how best to deploy the vaccine. So, … we ended up sort of in between, we decided to vote for it with a lot of heavy consciences, but I’m hoping that is the start of learning more about it.”
In response to Rubin, the GOP doctors wrote, “Yet your comments suggest we subject a vulnerable population to vaccination to gain a greater understanding of the vaccines’ efficacy. This highly immoral and unbelievably reckless statement will cause lasting harm to [Americans’] trust in our medical community, science and the sanctity of individual medical decisions.”
Meanwhile, top Democratic leader Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the FDA for authorizing the vaccine for children.
“Congress and the country are grateful to our scientists and health officials, who worked quickly and carefully to ensure that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective for our youngest Americans,” said Pelosi in a press statement and added that this will allow full community engagement.
On Nov. 2 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended practically every child in the United States between 5 and 11 get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky made the recommendation following advice from the agency’s vaccine advisory panel.
“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus that causes COVID-19,” Walensky said in a statement.
GOP lawmakers are calling on Rubin to correct his comments and publicly retract his statements or resign from the FDA.
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.
Pezou : Congressional Physician Caucus Calls on FDA Advisor to Retract ‘Harmful’ Comments About Vaccinations for Children