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Vaccine ethics


Mrs Tiggywinkle
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I’m taking DS11 to Universal Studios in October.  Going to Harry Potter World at the age of 11 and getting his wand has been a huge deal for years.  This is about the only week that works this year between his school and my work/conference speaking schedule and it’s all paid for.

I’m debating getting him vaccinated before we go.  I’d need to do it soon to get both shots done before we leave.  He’s big for 11 and bigger than half the teens I’ve vaccinated.  I’m not worried about that.  They don’t ask for proof of age.  I actually could just have a coworker vaccinate him and fill out the paperwork.

But….is it wrong? I don’t know. We have excess vaccines.  He’ll be 12 in May.  I have no qualms about the safety.

But I keep coming back to the ethics of lying.  (I majored in philosophy so I overthink but…)

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I don't think it's morally wrong, but if he were to develop a side effect that required medical treatment, your insurance might refuse to cover it and/or you could be criminally charged with fraud.  Those might be risks you're willing to take, idk, just mentioning possibilities.

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5 minutes ago, Syllieann said:

I don't think it's morally wrong, but if he were to develop a side effect that required medical treatment, your insurance might refuse to cover it and/or you could be criminally charged with fraud.  Those might be risks you're willing to take, idk, just mentioning possibilities.

I’ve considered this too.  My husband is against it because he thinks it’s fraud.  DS11 had Covid but it was almost a year ago, and waning immunity is a concern.

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I wouldn't do it. 

a) lying about his age will bother you

b) your dh doesn't want you to do it

c) in the unlikely situation that something went wrong, you'd have an under-approved-age kiddo with a vaccine reaction and a lot of explaining to do, insurance issues, legal issues, etc., etc.

d) his immunity may have waned, but it may have not

Instead, I'd

a) give him daily doses of vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, and maybe some quercetin - leading up to vacation and while there

b) have him mask when appropriate

c) have him use a Qtip to wipe nostrils with hydrogen peroxide after returning from public spaces

 

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A different child I would postpone this trip. But this child is autistic, though high functioning, and has been looking forward to this for years.  I think rescheduling for after he’s 12 would cause some mental health issues that are more of a risk than catching Covid a second time. 
I just wish he was vaccinated.

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If I could get someone to formally prescribe and administer the vaccine off-label, without lying about age, I would do it.

I would not lie about age to get it though.  Because that actually is fraud.  In practical terms, that could cost you your job, no? Especially if you get a colleague to collude.   It definitely could here.

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I wouldn't do it before EUA, unless this is something doctors are allowed to legally prescribe despite his age.  (Since it's got FDA approval, maybe that's allowed, but I really don't know.) 

Either way, I would definitely go on the trip.  I would not worry about the risk normally for an 11yo, especially one who probably has antibodies.  (You might want to check his antibodies to confirm that.)  That said, if there is any way to postpone the trip a month or so, you may be able to get one jab into him beforehand.

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1 hour ago, wathe said:

If I could get someone to formally prescribe and administer the vaccine off-label, without lying about age, I would do it.

I would not lie about age to get it though.  Because that actually is fraud.  In practical terms, that could cost you your job, no? Especially if you get a colleague to collude.   It definitely could here.

This. I would be very worried about your career.

In terms of the park, I think maybe with the return to school, it might be off season and lower crowds. Can he wear a KN95 all day or at least for long periods and then find outside areas to socially distance by a good long distance and then take it off for breaks and eating? I can totally understand balancing this with his mental health needs. Does the park allow you to bring in your own packed food for picnics? Eating inside or even standing inside to order seems to me to be one of the worst aspects. I don't know what the rules are. But, he is autistic so maybe it could fall under bringing food for those with specific medical needs. Many entertainment venues do make exceptions for that.

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I’d probably just take him to a vaccine clinic, to be honest.  They aren’t really asking people’s ages and there’s nothing to sign attesting that he’s 12 or older. You sign a general waiver or acknowledgement as a parent, but honestly nobody is asking.  If the child looked significantly under 12 they might ask, but he doesn’t.  You have to put down a birthdate, but I could probably write his actual birthdate and no one would really look.

I can’t imagine any doctor around here prescribing it off label.  I also don’t think we‘ll have emergency authorization before we leave. 

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I would delete this thread no matter what you decide. 

However, you are his mom and I think you have the right to decide what's best for your child. The fact that your husband doesn't agree would personally bother me and I probably wouldn't do it. I would continue talking it out with husband and try to come to a consensus between the two of you. I always try to do the right thing no matter what.....We're in the middle of a huge pandemic and I understand that mental health can be the most important thing right now for certain children. 

If you decide to do it, don't tell anyone besides your husband. Nobody needs to know your personal business.... Except for us on the board 😉

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I'm holding out hope that authorization will be given in the next week or two for 5-11s.  But no, I wouldn't lie.  It has been so tempting, and so hard.  DS turns 12 in just over 4 months.  We are tired, and hate the idea of giving up another fall/winter of activity where he's not in a bubble.  I am so mad he missed out on things last year. So mad. I look at my kid and hate how much he has missed out on because of the selfish, stupid people who won't keep their nasty germs to themselves.

Hogwarts should wait, I'm just saying.  It's not ethical to vaccinate him and it's not ethical taking him to a cesspool and hope he doesn't get diseased.  I would at least try to reschedule until December if authorization of the vaccine doesn't come through by next week.

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34 minutes ago, MooCow said:

I would delete this thread no matter what you decide. 

However, you are his mom and I think you have the right to decide what's best for your child. The fact that your husband doesn't agree would personally bother me and I probably wouldn't do it. I would continue talking it out with husband and try to come to a consensus between the two of you. I always try to do the right thing no matter what.....We're in the middle of a huge pandemic and I understand that mental health can be the most important thing right now for certain children. 

If you decide to do it, don't tell anyone besides your husband. Nobody needs to know your personal business.... Except for us on the board 😉

Literally, nobody in my area would care—I could post it publicly on FB pages and nobody cares.  There’s a lot of people locally who have gotten their 11-year-olds vaccinated and put it all over and it’s just not on anyone’s radar. Including a couple doctors at the hospital.

Unfortunately I have way over committed to conference speaking this spring and none are near Orlando.  Fall is going to be my free time to get away. I may just get antibodies tested and not worry about it; he had Covid last November(though I didn’t test, he had mild symptoms while I had Covid) and is a very healthy kid overall.  
 

I do have some qualms about giving my 5’2” 125 pound kid the child dose though.

Edited by Mrs Tiggywinkle
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9 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

Literally, nobody in my area would care—I could post it publicly on FB pages and nobody cares.  There’s a lot of people locally who have gotten their 11-year-olds vaccinated and put it all over and it’s just not on anyone’s radar. Including a couple doctors at the hospital.

Unfortunately I have way over committed to conference speaking this spring and none are near Orlando.  Fall is going to be my free time to get away. I may just get antibodies tested and not worry about it; he had Covid last November(though I didn’t test, he had mild symptoms while I had Covid) and is a very healthy kid overall.  
 

I do have some qualms about giving my 5’2” 125 pound kid the child dose though.

I can understand that. What dose are they using? I knew guys in college who were about this size, and they would not have been given pediatric dosages. Of course, there are a lot of factors involved in weighing that. I can see having qualms by age and physical factors over the dose for 12-16 year olds, and yet worried that the upcoming peds dose would not be enough. Tough call.

 

 

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Isn't this against your license agreements?
And aren't all vaccines being registered through the state databases? I know mine got registered.

My pharmacist wouldn't give me Moderna for my third because I had Pfizer previously. That's a way more grey situation than this one, imo.

I understand the temptation, I truly do, but this makes me feel icky all on the legal end of things.

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Pediatric is 10 micrograms, adult is 30 micrograms.  There is a difference, but then, a 30 microgram dose is given to someone 95lbs and someones 300lbs, so I don't think weight/height are the determining factors of dosage.  Development might be as well.

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2 hours ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

A different child I would postpone this trip. But this child is autistic, though high functioning, and has been looking forward to this for years.  I think rescheduling for after he’s 12 would cause some mental health issues that are more of a risk than catching Covid a second time. 
I just wish he was vaccinated.

What happens if he does get it while he's there? If you have a game plan you're comfortable with, then you're fine. If you're not cool with him getting sick while on the trip (under the care of someone else?), then that's the real issue. 

My ds is ASD2 and he had no trouble understanding that I was considering cruising without him. I did decide to do the shot with him (he's 12, almost 13), but a kid with autism can understand and wait a year or whatever it needs to be for him to be safe. If the trip can be done safely without the vax, then that's fine too. 

Nothing is ever SAFE, but it seems like you can estimate risk, estimate probability of a good outcome with your plan, and make a choice. I haven't done universal, only WDW, but I would think it's not nearly as dangerous as cruising or school. He's in school right now, right?

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19 minutes ago, Faith-manor said:

I can understand that. What dose are they using? I knew guys in college who were about this size, and they would not have been given pediatric dosages. Of course, there are a lot of factors involved in weighing that. I can see having qualms by age and physical factors over the dose for 12-16 year olds, and yet worried that the upcoming peds dose would not be enough. Tough call.

 

 

Anyone 12 and over will get the adult dose, anyone 11 and under gets the pediatric dose.  from the moderna vs Pfizer studies though it does seem that dose matters re longer lasting immunity.

14 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Isn't this against your license agreements?
And aren't all vaccines being registered through the state databases? I know mine got registered.

My pharmacist wouldn't give me Moderna for my third because I had Pfizer previously. That's a way more grey situation than this one, imo.

I understand the temptation, I truly do, but this makes me feel icky all on the legal end of things.

They’re registered but honestly at the mass vaccine clinics, they want the adult’s photo ID and then briefly scan over the paperwork.  Later on the paperwork is sent to the state to register, but no one is there looking up stuff on state registries to  determine if it’s a first or second dose or even a third or what vaccine you had before.  I know a couple people who wanted a booster who just walked in and said it was their first shot. Someone might pick it up inputting it into a state registry a week or two later, but I haven’t heard of them getting any phone calls.  
The mass vax clinics here are very Wild West.  
 

I think I will probably wait.  We fly out October 25 and I just got word that we’re planning a pediatric mass vaccination clinic around the 15th, so the higher ups in the state must be expecting emergency auth around then.

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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

What happens if he does get it while he's there? If you have a game plan you're comfortable with, then you're fine. If you're not cool with him getting sick while on the trip (under the care of someone else?), then that's the real issue. 

My ds is ASD2 and he had no trouble understanding that I was considering cruising without him. I did decide to do the shot with him (he's 12, almost 13), but a kid with autism can understand and wait a year or whatever it needs to be for him to be safe. If the trip can be done safely without the vax, then that's fine too. 

Nothing is ever SAFE, but it seems like you can estimate risk, estimate probability of a good outcome with your plan, and make a choice. I haven't done universal, only WDW, but I would think it's not nearly as dangerous as cruising or school. He's in school right now, right?

He’s in school. We’ll only be at universal for 3 days, but I honestly expect he’ll get less exposure outdoors there than he does at school.  

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The only reason I haven’t attempted to get my 10yo (stb11) through is a fear of messing with the potential for boosters down the road. I don’t know what that might look like in 6, 9, or 12 months.

Otherwise, with plenty available, I have no ethical objections. Greater good.

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5 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

I think I will probably wait.  We fly out October 25 and I just got word that we’re planning a pediatric mass vaccination clinic around the 15th, so the higher ups in the state must be expecting emergency auth around then.

That's a good resolution! 

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3 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

He’s in school. We’ll only be at universal for 3 days, but I honestly expect he’ll get less exposure outdoors there than he does at school.  

Exactly. So low risk, compared to other things. Nuts, he may have even had delta asymptomatically at this point. 

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6 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

I think I will probably wait.  We fly out October 25 and I just got word that we’re planning a pediatric mass vaccination clinic around the 15th, so the higher ups in the state must be expecting emergency auth around then

You made my day with that! Putting a little star of hope on my calendar now!

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13 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

Anyone 12 and over will get the adult dose, anyone 11 and under gets the pediatric dose.  from the moderna vs Pfizer studies though it does seem that dose matters re longer lasting immunity.

They’re registered but honestly at the mass vaccine clinics, they want the adult’s photo ID and then briefly scan over the paperwork.  Later on the paperwork is sent to the state to register, but no one is there looking up stuff on state registries to  determine if it’s a first or second dose or even a third or what vaccine you had before.  I know a couple people who wanted a booster who just walked in and said it was their first shot. Someone might pick it up inputting it into a state registry a week or two later, but I haven’t heard of them getting any phone calls.  
The mass vax clinics here are very Wild West.  
 

I think I will probably wait.  We fly out October 25 and I just got word that we’re planning a pediatric mass vaccination clinic around the 15th, so the higher ups in the state must be expecting emergency auth around then.

That's certainly not what we experienced. My husband had his vaccine at the Corning CC and it was extremely efficient. I had mine done at the Riverside Convention Center in Rochester and it was exceptional. Everywhere I see now the places say walk ins welcome. I can not imagine it still being a wild west scenario, unless you are commenting on the incompetence of health care givers in your part of the Southern Tier?

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37 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Isn't this against your license agreements?
And aren't all vaccines being registered through the state databases? I know mine got registered.

My pharmacist wouldn't give me Moderna for my third because I had Pfizer previously. That's a way more grey situation than this one, imo.

I understand the temptation, I truly do, but this makes me feel icky all on the legal end of things.

In NY all immunizations of kids under 19 are automatically uploaded to a state immunization registry. For those over 19, they will ask for verbal or written consent. I'm not certain if those same laws have been modified for Covid. When my husband thought he lost his covid card, we googled and read that there's a state place to call to get a copy. I am glad he found it because it probably would have taken months or more to receive another one.

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12 minutes ago, Idalou said:

That's certainly not what we experienced. My husband had his vaccine at the Corning CC and it was extremely efficient. I had mine done at the Riverside Convention Center in Rochester and it was exceptional. Everywhere I see now the places say walk ins welcome. I can not imagine it still being a wild west scenario, unless you are commenting on the incompetence of health care givers in your part of the Southern Tier?

 No, but Corning was done by the national guard, not local healthcare. It wouldn’t surprise me if they had enough personnel to immediately enter people into the state database.
It is efficient, but we aren’t sitting there putting stuff into the computer either. The paperwork is collected and sent on at the end of the day.  Most of those sites are shut down now because pretty much everyone who wants to be vaxxed is.  But no one is asking for birth certificates if you write down 2009 and the child was born in 2010. We didn’t ask for any age verification on any pediatrics, just photo ID for parents.

I think the pharmacies are immediately entering data.  Most of our mass vax sites are closed now and we only have a day here and there where it’s open and people can come get vaccinated.  Now that you can walk into any pharmacy and get vaccinated, they’re no longer necessary, but someone must be thinking they’ll be short term opened again once Pfizer gets its emergency authorization. 
 

I believe all adult vaccinations are on the state vaxx registry too. DH recently couldn’t find his copy of his hep B vaccines and was able to call the state. They sent him a transcript of every vaccine he’d ever had.

Edited by Mrs Tiggywinkle
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It's interesting to me how different systems are in different places.  Here, the covid vax program is managed through a single provincial database.  All providers use the same database.   There is no alternative.  On site, your healthcard is scanned into the system.  Demographics auto-populate, including date of birth.  All the screening questions and the vaccine administration details (lot number, injection site, provider etc) are logged in electronically.  At the end you get a formal provincial receipt by email (or you can ask for a printed copy).  Sneaking an underage kid through would be practically impossible.  Healthcards are very secure.  

ETA - what I mean to say is that here, you really would have to commit fraud to get an underage kid vaxxed, not just hope that a HCW doesn't pay attention to a birthdate.

Edited by wathe
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1 hour ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

Literally, nobody in my area would care—I could post it publicly on FB pages and nobody cares.  There’s a lot of people locally who have gotten their 11-year-olds vaccinated and put it all over and it’s just not on anyone’s radar. Including a couple doctors at the hospital.

Unfortunately I have way over committed to conference speaking this spring and none are near Orlando.  Fall is going to be my free time to get away. I may just get antibodies tested and not worry about it; he had Covid last November(though I didn’t test, he had mild symptoms while I had Covid) and is a very healthy kid overall.  
 

I do have some qualms about giving my 5’2” 125 pound kid the child dose though.

I hope he has the antibodies and you both have a safe and fabulous trip!

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25 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

 No, but Corning was done by the national guard, not local healthcare. It wouldn’t surprise me if they had enough personnel to immediately enter people into the state database.
It is efficient, but we aren’t sitting there putting stuff into the computer either. The paperwork is collected and sent on at the end of the day.  Most of those sites are shut down now because pretty much everyone who wants to be vaxxed is.  But no one is asking for birth certificates if you write down 2009 and the child was born in 2010. We didn’t ask for any age verification on any pediatrics, just photo ID for parents.

I think the pharmacies are immediately entering data.  Most of our mass vax sites are closed now and we only have a day here and there where it’s open and people can come get vaccinated.  Now that you can walk into any pharmacy and get vaccinated, they’re no longer necessary, but someone must be thinking they’ll be short term opened again once Pfizer gets its emergency authorization. 
 

I believe all adult vaccinations are on the state vaxx registry too. DH recently couldn’t find his copy of his hep B vaccines and was able to call the state. They sent him a transcript of every vaccine he’d ever had.

The mass clinics here were very well run, and often did have national guard assistance to pull off. Most definitely records were being updated because they were entering information on the spot, and at the one I went to, my ID was scanned. But wow, the pharmacies, especially those not run by a national chain, have been total Wild Wild West. My 21 year old doesn't look a day over 16, and he wasn't asked for ID at the local grocery store pharmacy. I know someone who was furious that her 16 year old wanted to be vaxed, expressly forbid it, and the girl drove herself to a pharmacy, and asked for it. They never asked to see her driver's license. I think they probably thought, "Old enough to drive without parent, old enough to decide she wants covid protection". They probably think of it the same way as if she had come in to fill a bc prescription or buy condoms. Not saying it is right. Just saying ya, Dodge City sometimes happens out there.

Tiggy, I am glad you are waiting until closer to the trip!

I think a good spin off thread for another day would be one about pediatric med dosing in general. So many of them have age guidelines, and that is the primary consideration, and yet, we know that is not even close to the best guideline. Puberty comes to some as young as 9, body mass and weight makes a difference, etc. There are many factors involved. I have never been super comfy with the " age" guideline. I think other factors might be more important.

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30 minutes ago, wathe said:

It's interesting to me how different systems are in different places.  Here, the covid vax program is managed through a single provincial database.  All providers use the same database.   There is no alternative.  On site, your healthcard is scanned into the system.  Demographics auto-populate, including date of birth.  All the screening questions and the vaccine administration details (lot number, injection site, provider etc) are logged in electronically.  At the end you get a formal provincial receipt by email (or you can ask for a printed copy).  Sneaking an underage kid through would be practically impossible.  Healthcards are very secure.  

ETA - what I mean to say is that here, you really would have to commit fraud to get an underage kid vaxxed, not just hope that a HCW doesn't pay attention to a birthdate.

Does each individual have a healthcare card?  While we took insurance information(I don’t know why, because my understanding was the vaccinations weren’t being charged to insurance), we only have one insurance card for the whole family.  Only my husband’s name and DOB, since he carries the insurance, is on it.  My kids don’t have any form of photo ID, not even school ID.

Each sheet of paper with name/address/DOB had a sticker with the lot number and vaccination type, and another sticker with the same info was put on the person’s vaccination card. I assume it was all input into a database later on, but that wasn’t happening at the clinic.  I know my husband’s Covid shot was on his vaccination transcript from the state, so they’re obviously getting all the information.

Edited by Mrs Tiggywinkle
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28 minutes ago, wathe said:

It's interesting to me how different systems are in different places.  Here, the covid vax program is managed through a single provincial database.  All providers use the same database.   There is no alternative.  On site, your healthcard is scanned into the system.  Demographics auto-populate, including date of birth.  All the screening questions and the vaccine administration details (lot number, injection site, provider etc) are logged in electronically.  At the end you get a formal provincial receipt by email (or you can ask for a printed copy).  Sneaking an underage kid through would be practically impossible.  Healthcards are very secure.  

ETA - what I mean to say is that here, you really would have to commit fraud to get an underage kid vaxxed, not just hope that a HCW doesn't pay attention to a birthdate.

Probably having universal healthcare makes that more possible. Here, our "healthcards" are insurance cards, and none of that is even tracked with the card. Scanning my Dh's group medical plan card will not net a provider anything but pertinent billing information. His birthdays is the only age info included. In my state, while they had follow up emails to remind you of when to come for your 2nd dose, there were no receipts, but we were given vaccine cards with dose numbers and such, signed by the nurse/pharmacist/lab tech/corpsman who gave the shot.

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18 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

Does each individual have a healthcare card?  While we took insurance information(I don’t know why, because my understanding was the vaccinations weren’t being charged to insurance), we only have one insurance card for the whole family.  Only my husband’s name and DOB, since he carries the insurance, is on it.  My kids don’t have any form of photo ID, not even school ID.

Each sheet of paper with name/address/DOB had a sticker with the lot number and vaccination type, and another sticker with the same info was put on the person’s vaccination card. I assume it was all input into a database later on, but that wasn’t happening at the clinic.  I know my husband’s Covid shot was on his vaccination transcript from the state, so they’re obviously getting all the information.

Each individual has their own healthcard as part of the publicly funded universal health care system.  They are a form of photoID here.  (kids cards don't have photos, just adults).  Need a birth certificate or passport to get one.  Replacing a lost healthcard is a total PITA.

The covid vax program here is paperless and each person's file is linked to their healthcard. Data are entered electronically in real-time - workers all use tablets. Appointment booking, documentation, records, receipts all through the same database. They database knows the eligibility criteria.  If someone isn't eligible (ie by birthdate) the system won't let them generate a vaccination administration record.

Edited by wathe
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6 hours ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

I’m taking DS11 to Universal Studios in October.  Going to Harry Potter World at the age of 11 and getting his wand has been a huge deal for years.  This is about the only week that works this year between his school and my work/conference speaking schedule and it’s all paid for.

I’m debating getting him vaccinated before we go.  I’d need to do it soon to get both shots done before we leave.  He’s big for 11 and bigger than half the teens I’ve vaccinated.  I’m not worried about that.  They don’t ask for proof of age.  I actually could just have a coworker vaccinate him and fill out the paperwork.

But….is it wrong? I don’t know. We have excess vaccines.  He’ll be 12 in May.  I have no qualms about the safety.

But I keep coming back to the ethics of lying.  (I majored in philosophy so I overthink but…)

I wouldn't be concerned about lying.

I've been tempted to take my big for 11 year old in.  But then he'd get a vaccine card with the wrong birthday, which I assume his school, which requires vaccines for 12 and up, wouldn't accept as proof of vaccination.  Then what does that mean?  Revaccinate him?  Find a new school?

This might not be an issue for you now, but I think that eventually it will be required by all schools.

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Even though I think it would be safe for your kid, I wouldn't do it.  I think it sets a bad example for your child -- he will know that you aren't telling the truth.  And setting that example coming into the teen years?  Nope.  I wouldn't.

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2 hours ago, Junie said:

Even though I think it would be safe for your kid, I wouldn't do it.  I think it sets a bad example for your child -- he will know that you aren't telling the truth.  And setting that example coming into the teen years?  Nope.  I wouldn't.

Now that everything I’m reading and hearing says Pfizer is getting EAU soon, I’m no longer considering it.  It sounds like he’ll be able to get one dose before we go and that plus natural immunity should be okay.

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Ethics aside. It is against the law to knowingly provide a vaccine to someone who does not meet the criteria. If you, or your coworker do this, they are breaking the law and while highly unlikely, it could result in legal action against your medical filed licenses. Personally for this reason, I wouldn't do it, just in case there are complications and you have to seek medical treatment.

I understand the dilemma when it comes to special needs kiddos. Everything is just extra complicated (even when it comes to the fun stuff like vacations). 

I would wait for the EAU and get the single shot before you go. That definitely sounds like a solid plan.

I hope you have an amazing trip!!!

 

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