In a previous article, I asked the question, Is it “Natural and Healthy” When Children Get Sick With COVID? The answer to this question is obvious. My article was in response to a pro-virus article titled “Should We Let Children Catch Omicron?” by Dr. Vinay Prasad and Allison Krug who wrote:

When it comes to infectious disease, normality means a world where they are routinely exposed to, and overcome, viral illness. For children, getting sick and recovering is part of a natural and healthy life.

The idea that vaccine-preventable diseases are healthy for children is an old anti-vaccine trope. Prior to the pandemic, anti-vaccine doctors claimed measles prevents cancer, for example. In reality, neither measles nor COVID is “healthy” for children.

However, the article Dr. Prasad and Krug contained another absurd claim. They also wrote:

While the death of any child is a tragedy, Covid-19 is less deadly to children than many other risks we accept as a matter of course, including drowning, vehicle accidents, and even cardiovascular disease.

This is doubly false. The CDC’s COVID data tracker added 800 deaths to its grim tally in the year before that article was published, and 800 children have since died of COVID. This is the same as the number of children who drown annually and larger than the number of children who die from cardiovascular disease. Overall, over 2,000 children have died of COVID since the start of the pandemic, and many more would have died had none been vaccinated. In 2020, 607 children younger that 12 years were killed in car crashes. It’s clear more than that would have died of COVID had we let it rip through the pediatric population before any children were vaccinated in spring 2020. It’s only because we didn’t let that happen then, that Dr. Prasad can now write COVID is less deadly than car crashes.

Beyond this, we absolutely don’t accept children dying “as a matter of course”. We normally do whatever we can to keep children safe and alive. Products that kill a relatively small number of children are rightly recalled. (Guns are a notable exception). Sadly, there is no vaccine against drowning and car accidents, and so we go to much greater lengths to keep children safe from these risks. There are crossing guards, seat belts, air bags, traffic laws, lifeguards, swim and driving lessons, life preservers, and fences around pools. None of these are as cheap and simple as a vaccine, yet none are controversial. No reasonable person would reject an improved car seat that slashed car fatalities by arguing that we should just accept such deaths as a “matter of course”. In fact, pediatric car deaths have been nearly cut in half over the past 20 years because we didn’t accept dead children as a “matter of course”.

Notably, Dr. Prasad does not feel that we should accept a rare, “mild and self-limiting” vaccine side-effect as a “matter of course”. He recently wrote that “even the slightest bit of inflammation in the heart should be treated seriously”. The same doctors who scold us for potentially minimizing “slightest bit of inflammation in the heart” when the vaccine is to blame, shame us for trying to keep children from dying when the virus is to blame. Perhaps he or another medical “conservative” can write a rebuttal to my essay titled “We Should Accept Dead Children as a Matter of Course, But Not the Slightest Bit of Inflammation in the Heart”.

At least Dr. Prasad and Krug were right that the death of any child is a tragedy. 7-year-old Adalyn Graviss died of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis less than 72-hours after testing positive for COVID. Her mother said:

She loves Jesus music, she loved being around her family and friends, she loved basketball, she loved dance, she loved going to church, she loved to play dress-up. Every day she wore my high heels and she was dancing up and down the hallway.

According to news reports, Adalyn’s parents “had been considering taking Adalyn to get her COVID-19 vaccine after she became eligible in November, but held off”. Adalyn would almost certainly be alive today had her parents chose differently.

Children will continue to die despite our best efforts. We can’t keep them locked in bubble wrap, and life isn’t risk free. However, we should never accept hundreds of children dying as a matter of course, especially when most can be saved with a simple vaccine.

This didn’t used to be controversial amongst doctors. It is now.


  • Dr. Jonathan Howard is a neurologist and psychiatrist based in New York City who has been interested in vaccines since long before COVID-19.

Posted by Jonathan Howard

Dr. Jonathan Howard is a neurologist and psychiatrist based in New York City who has been interested in vaccines since long before COVID-19.