COVID-19 Vaccines and Children: A Scientist’s Guide for Parents

15/06/2021

By Dr. Byram W. Bridle, PhD Associate Professor of Viral Immunology 

Dr Bridle teaches topics on immunology, virology, and cancer biology at the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Guelph in Canada. His research program focuses on the development of vaccines to prevent infectious diseases and treat cancers, as well as studying the body's immune response to viruses. He is also involved in training Canada's next generation of multidisciplinary researchers, especially in vaccinology.  

" I feel that the current content represents the most important information that parents will need to make informed decisions about vaccinating their children. As children in Canada who are 12 and older can be vaccinated without parental consent, this guide also serves to share information and encourage open discussions between parents and their older children, so that the choice to consent or not consent is truly "informed". 

There will be many people who will challenge the content of this guide. I respect others' opinions and decisions.      I simply ask for similar respect in return. I am a public servant providing information for which I have substantial expertise. It is being done from the perspective of having a genuine concern for the well-being of Canadian youth.   

I urge everyone to follow the weight of validated scientific data. I ask you to challenge information that is accompanied by loose claims of being 'data from on the ground' or 'data from the front lines', which often lack scientific rigor and a 'big picture' perspective, especially in an era of extensive social media censorship. Follow the weight of the validated data when deciding which evidence is relevant and reliable in your decision-making process...

I first presented some of the information that is in this guide during a radio interview on May 27, 2021. This was a truncated five-minute sound bite that triggered a public smear campaign, including a slanderous website, a fake Twitter account, and harassment in the workplace. Nobody involved in the establishment of the smear campaign reached out to me to respectfully discuss the science. As a result, I wrote, along with collaborators, a brief two-page 'guide' to provide some key scientific references. Here, I have assembled a much more comprehensive guide, written with the goal of trying to communicate complex scientific principles to a lay person, yet with sufficient scientific rigour to also address experts. As I have often done with presentations and articles over the past year, I have set up this guide to answer the most common questions that I have received from the public. It is with sincere concern, and with the best interests of my fellow Canadians in mind, that I present you with the information that follows". 

Download to read Dr Bridle's Guide for Parents. We hope it offers you various perspectives on this subject.