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News Analysis May 23, 2022 8:48 PM EST

Medical expert says CDC panel is a 'kangaroo court', approves vaccines based on 'marketing'

"I've never heard of a streamlined marketing message being a factor in choosing to strongly recommend something," he said.

Medical expert says CDC panel is a 'kangaroo court', approves vaccines based on 'marketing'
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC

John Hopkins University's Dr. Marty Makary publicly slammed the CDC over the agency's approval of COVID boosters for children as young as five, with Pfizer now also ready to submit applications to vaccinate babies as young as six months old later this week.

According to the Daily Mail, Makary said that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is a kangaroo court with no ideological diversity pushing "low value care."

He said that the board approves every vaccine that comes their way, and that those who have pushed back against their stance on vaccines have been pushed off of the panel.

ACIP leads the CDC's vaccine decision making and is made up of members from research institutes and universities from across the US. The board is now making decisions on pediatric vaccines, while its counterpart the Food and Drug Administration, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) was not, reports the Mail.

VRBPAC has now not been consulted for two straight decisions, with the group also not being approached when the FDA approved fourth doses for Americans over 50.

"This criticism comes as yet another low-risk group may be added to the vaccine rotation, with Pfizer revealing data Monday showing its three-dose regimen for children six months to four years old is 80 percent effective at preventing infection from the Omicron variant. This likely proceeds an official application submission to have the jabs approved in the coming days," the Daily Mail writes, saying that the FDA approved the vaccines for Americans aged five to 11, despite their low risk of developing serious disease.

Children, in fact, make up just over 1,000 of the over one million COVID deaths that have been suffered over the last two years.

Makary says that the ACIP panel is "the biggest slap in the face of science we've seen during the pandemic," and that the "rationale... was flawed" for approval.

Makary also added that the CDC's director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, cited studies that showed that the US's children were experiencing an outbreak of COVID, though another study had recently found that as many as 75 percent of the nation's children have already been infected and likely have natural immunity to the virus.

He also criticized Pfizer for not including enough participants in its recent study, with only 140 participants.

"For comparison, the trials for approval for the original COVID-19 vaccine regimen approved in 2020 included over 43,000 participants," the Mail reports.

Makary says that ACIP is making decisions based on it providing a "consistent message" to Americans, which he says is not a science-based reason.

"I've never heard of a streamlined marketing message being a factor in choosing to strongly recommend something," he said.

He said that skipping VRBPAC for a second time was the last straw, saying that the committee is made up of actual vaccine experts, many of whom have publicly disagreed with the FDA and CDC's decisions.

When the vaccines were approved for fourth doses, three openly spoke against the decision, including Dr. Eric Rubin, Dr. Paul Offit, and Dr. Cody Meissner.

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