The New York Times hits a new Covid low on vaccines for kids, thanks to one Aubrey Clayton, PhD

I know, I didn’t think it was possible either.

But today the NYT ran a opinion piece basically arguing the Food and Drug Administration should okay the Pfizer mRNA shot for children under 5 even if they fail the ongoing clinical trial.

This hideousness was titled

A Smarter Way to Think About the Under-5 Vaccine

As soon as I saw the headline I knew it would be bad. But I couldn’t imagine how bad.

The piece

Imma translate it for you from scared academic phonics into English:

Pfizer’s mRNA shot appears to be failing its clinical trial in little kids.

Yes, it can’t even manage to demonstrate benefit in a trial intentionally designed to be as easy as possible to pass. (Remember, the pivotal clinical trials for mRNA jabs in adults showed a HUGE benefit against Covid infection, a benefit that doesn’t exist.)

I, Aubrey Clayton, PhD, wish to force my three young children to take a biotechnology that is useless for them to protect them from a disease that is an infinitesimal risk to them.

That way I can stop abusing them by forcing them to have outdoor play dates in subfreezing temperatures and wear masks on their tiny faces. Because I’m scared, or my second cousin has long Covid, or I have pronouns in my biography, who knows?

Point is, I want them to get the shot. Like about 10 percent of parents of little kids nationally, and 100 percent of the parents of little kids I know, I WANT THEM TO GET THE SHOT. I WANT I WANT.

Sad me. It looks like the FDA may do what it has done for generations, which is require that the trial designed to show a medicine works actually show it works.

Sad me so sad. So I am proposing an alternative pathway to approval. It’s called the, “I really want this shot to work so I’m going to assume it works and look for evidence supporting that assumption” pathway for approval.

Then I can give my children the useless biotechnology and feel better.

Yay me.

This is Aubrey. He/him has thoughts.

Okay, here’s the thing.

Drug development is really hard. Pharmaceuticals and biologics mostly don’t work. Sometimes they have serious side effects. Randomized clinical trials are the ONLY way to know with any reasonable certainty whether a new therapeutic will do what its developer says it does.

A drug that fails to show meaningful clinical benefit (which does NOT mean cure) with more than 95 percent statistical significance in a carefully designed clinical trial is likely to be at best useless and at worst harmful in the real world. Trials generally OVERSTATE the effectiveness of medicines for all kinds of complex reasons.

Trials aren’t perfect. But in a world filled with error, they are not just our best but our only real alternative to guesswork.

Find a different way to mess up your kids, Aubrey.