I oppose Gov. Gavin Newsom’s school vaccine mandate. Allow me to explain.

As of Oct. 1, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database recorded 7,437 U.S. vaccine-related deaths since the COVID vaccines were first authorized by the FDA for public use. The Ourworldindata.org website sets the total number of vaccine doses given nationally by this date at 393,760,000. Dividing these numbers yields a national vaccine-related mortality rate of one death for every 52,946 doses given.  

In California there are 9,026,750 children ages 0-17. I draw this number from the Kidsdata.org website. As of Oct. 6, the California Department of Public Health recorded a total of 37 COVID deaths for all California children ages 0-17 since this pandemic began. If, according to our Governor’s Vaccine Action Plan, all California children in this age group were to receive two doses of COVID vaccine, then 18,053,500 total doses would be administered.  

As I calculated earlier, the national vaccine-related mortality rate is one death for every 52,946 doses given. If this national rate holds true for our California children, then the number of vaccine-related childhood deaths would be 18,053,500 divided by 52,946 or 341 deaths for our state. This compares to the 37 Covid deaths I cited above for all California children ages 0-17. In other words, over nine times more children could die from the vaccine than have died from the disease itself. To me, public health policy should reflect a better risk-to-benefit ratio for our children.  

Although some might fault my VAERS analysis here for assuming that correlation is causation, I prefer erring on the side of caution, especially in the absence of long-term safety data for the mRNA vaccines.     

The first principle of all the healing arts is primum non nocere, first do no harm. Seen in this light, Governor Newsom’s call to Vaccinate All 58 becomes for me an unwarranted risk to the health and safety of our children. As such, I oppose his school vaccine mandate.  

I invite every parent, every person, to confirm my numbers, weigh my assumptions, correct my errors.  We grow as a community in this way. Please do so.

Although investigating the science and statistics of this pandemic may be daunting, the knowledge that is power, like liberty itself, is gained, not given. History supports this insight. Thank you so much.

(4) comments

Trinity Bob

Dear Mr. Medinnus,

First, let me applaud your invitation to consider your ideas and to weigh in on anything which may need correcting. It’s a rare attribute these days and one that we all should adopt.

I’ve checked your math and it’s all correct. The only problem I see is with the initial premise that the VAERS data actually recorded “vaccine-related deaths.” The database draws no such conclusion. In fact, it states: “VAERS reports generally cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness,” and also in their disclaimer, it states: “The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable.” Further, in the FDA’s Q&A section, it adds: “Are all events reported to VAERS caused by vaccinations? No. VAERS reports generally cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness. Some events may occur coincidentally after the administration of a vaccine while others may in fact be caused by a vaccine.”

The CDC weighs in: “A review of available clinical information, including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records, has not established a causal link to COVID-19 vaccines. However, recent reports indicate a plausible causal relationship between the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine and TTS, a rare and serious adverse event—blood clots with low platelets—which has caused deaths.”

So the premise that the reported deaths following vaccination are due directly to the vaccine is incorrect. While your math is correct, everything that follows the initial faulty assertion leads us further astray.

Weighing the costs vs. benefits is admirably worthwhile. We just need to ensure that we begin with a premise based on a verifiable number so that our calculations down the road remain accurate.

Thanks again for your thoughtful letter and approach.


I agree T-Bob. Well put.

Truth First

There's no need whatsoever, Mark, to copy and paste all the data you've included here in order to make your point. Why? Because common sense is all that's required to know that strangling the children in a bad idea. Remember that, everyone? Common sense? You won't hear it coming from any of these loons who claim to embrace "science" that's anything but scientific.

No, this dip***t governor and all his cohorts are signing their own death warrants, politically speaking. They know their time is due, so they're ramrodding every crazyass directive as quickly as possible, while they still can. Apologies to all the harried parents across our nation who will need to start homeschooling their kids now, as a means of saving them from this murderous globalist scheme. Unlike the sellout teachers, parents are the real heroes now. It's up to you, folks.

Also, very generous of you to offer a public analysis and rebuttal to your spot-on letter, Mr. M. Now, if only someone with a degree of intellect would take you up on it. Will keep waiting...

Mark Medinnus

In his online comment to my recent letter to the editor, Trinity Bob was concerned with my use of the VAERS vaccine-related death count of 7,437. I would like to respond to his concern by sharing the research that supports my use of this number.

Bradford Hill’s Criteria of causation has been used as a tool in public health research for decades. Of his nine criteria, I considered for my research the fourth alone, Temporality. This criterion says that for any pair of events the cause must precede the effect. Because I oppose Governor Newsom’s school vaccine mandate, the cause here becomes the therapeutic intervention V for vaccination, the effect the outcome D for death. Therefore, for these two events, V must precede D. While satisfying the criterion of Temporality is necessary in this way, it is insufficient to infer causality between them. For example, consider a patient who passes away six months after being vaccinated. Is this causal? I would say unlikely, because a confounding variable like a Cardiovascular Event could easily have been the proximate cause of their death. Nevertheless, a causal inference between them is strengthened as the outcome of death follows closely the therapeutic intervention in time.

In a recent safety update on the topic of Covid vaccination in teenagers, for example, Tom Shimabukuro, who sits on the CDC Covid-19 Vaccine Task Force, used a risk window of 7 and 21 days post-vaccination to gather data on the incidence of possible vaccine-induced teen myocarditis. While he used 7 and 21 days in his study, I used only 3 days for my letter. Of the 7,437 VAERS vaccine-related deaths as of October 1, 2021, 786 or about 10% fell on the very day of vaccination. 939 more followed on the second day, 395 on the third. In other words, 2,120 or somewhat over 25% of all vaccine-related deaths occurred within the first 72 hours after vaccination. Despite the CDC’s cautionary language that Trinity Bob cited in his online comment, this is strong circumferential evidence that supports my assumption that vaccination was indeed the proximate cause of death in these cases. But I would say more. Following the Precautionary Principle, I would say that the burden falls on the CDC to investigate this circumstantial evidence to prove otherwise. Their path would be steep.

VAERS underreporting is well-known. This underreporting involves all adverse events, including the subset of serious adverse events like anaphylaxis or death. In the 2010 Harvard Pilgrim Study, for example, Ross Lazarus the principal investigator observed, “Fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events are reported.” His 1% figure implies a URF (Under-Reporting Factor) of 100 times. That is, to capture the true number of adverse events, each reported event must be multiplied by 100. I have seen more current URF’s ranging from 4-120 times. In the research for my letter, however, I used the conservative number 4. As I mentioned above, somewhat over 25% of the reported vaccine-related deaths fell within a 72-hour post-vaccination window. Multiplying a URF of 4 times to this 25% figure brings the vaccine-related death count back to roughly the original number of 7,437 that I used in my calculations.

As readers may recall, I used this 7,437 number in calculating the national Covid vaccine-related death rate of one death per 52,946 doses given. Thereafter, I assumed that all 9,026,750 California children ages 0-17 would receive two doses of Covid vaccine, bringing the total doses administered to 18,053,500. I then divided this number by 52,946. In doing so, 341 was the number of vaccine-related childhood deaths I calculated that could result from implementing Governor Newsom’s Vaccine Action Plan. In my letter I failed to add a margin of error. I will do so here.

For this margin of error, I will trim the 9,026,750 child population number in two ways. First, because Governor Newsom’s Vaccine Action Plan excludes from its primary vaccination series infants 0-6 months of age, I will assume an exclusion count of 600,000, which drops the child population to 8,426,750. Second, of this remaining 8,426,750, I will further assume that 25% have been fully vaccinated already. Doing so trims the final child population number to 6,320,063. If everyone in this final number receives two dose of vaccine, then the final dose count is 12,640,126. Lastly, using this final dose count to recalculate the childhood vaccine-related death count yields 12,640,126 divided by 52,946 or 239 child deaths. Even with my margin of error, this number still compares unfavorably to the 37 Covid-related death total for all California children ages 0-17 cited by the California Department of Public Health as of October 1, 2021.

Please consider, our children are in the morning of their lives. Each is precious. For their sake, I believe that we should always err on the side of caution, especially, as here, in the absence of long-term safety data for the mRNA vaccines. I am grateful to Trinity Bob for expressing his concern and, especially, for sharing his kind words. Thank you, T Bob! This is what community is all about. Still, despite his objection, I believe that my use of the VAERS death count – what he calls my ‘initial premise’ – is more than justified by the research I have shared in this letter and is in keeping with the spirit of primum non nocere, first do no harm.

I offer this reflection in closing. Throughout my career as a dental professional, I have reviewed hundreds of health studies, opinions, and reports. During this time, I have never encountered a public health proposal – much less a mandate – that would intervene therapeutically in a 0-17 age cohort for a disease whose annual survival rate for this same group is 99.9997%. To me, Governor Newsom’s mandate is unprecedented. As such, I oppose his school vaccine mandate. Thank you so much

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