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Bp. Richard Stika of Knoxville, Tenn.DioKnox TV / YouTube

(LifeSiteNews) — Editor’s note: Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville, Tennessee, strongly recommends that all eligible youth be vaccinated. The following open letter to the bishop was provided to LifeSiteNews by the signatories. Among the signatories are two physicians and many concerned parents from Knox County, Tennessee — where not one person under 18 years of age has died from COVID.

September 20, 2021

Dear Most Reverend Richard Stika,

This open letter is in response to a public letter from you, dated August 5, in which you highly recommended that everyone having attained the age of twelve be vaccinated against COVID-19. We, the undersigned, ask you to quickly and publicly revoke this recommendation for youth under the age of 18. Dear Father, some of us are known to you personally. We know your good will, and you should know ours. We entreat you to give this matter your utmost consideration.

We contend that mass vaccination of our youth against COVID-19 is a violation of the Hippocratic Oath to “first do no harm,” because there is no evidence that vaccination yields a better health outcome for anyone under the age 18.

There are many stories across the internet about youth who have suffered harm from the COVID-19 vaccine. It can be difficult to know whether such stories are true. However, for the purpose of determining morality, vaccination of children goes in the “immoral” column merely for lack of proven benefit to the vaccinated children themselves. To the extent vaccination causes harm, the immorality is that much graver, but the onset of immorality is the lack of proven benefit.

Now we set before you some evidence that that children reap no direct health benefit from COVID-19 vaccination.

The first and most accessible evidence is the COVID-19 database maintained by our own Knox County Health Department. As of September 20, 2021, we have had about 70,000 cases of coronavirus in the greater Knoxville area, more than 12,000 of which have been diagnosed in the under-18 population. Yet not a single person from Knox County under the age of 18 has died from the disease.

There are no published scientific studies which demonstrate a statistically better health outcome for COVID-19-vaccinated children vs. unvaccinated.

The grounds on which Pfizer applied for emergency-use authorization (EUA) for youth vaccination were extraordinarily flimsy. The clinical trial enrolled 2,260 adolescents, 12-15 years old, about equally divided between vaccinated and placebo groups. Did they find that children in the placebo group were sicker than their vaccinated counterparts at any time following injection? No. They pursued and achieved EUA based on their findings that (1) the vaccine caused the production of antibodies in the vaccinated group, and (2) that 18 adolescents in the placebo group (1.6%) tested positive for COVID-19. (If we were considering vaccination against any other common respiratory virus, our collective rational response would be: So what?) Moreover, Pfizer observed side effects in the vaccinated group, but dismissed these as “generally consistent with those observed in participants 16 to 25 years of age.”

Two young men from Tennessee, ages 14 and 15, have been hospitalized for acute chest pain and severe myopericarditis within 48 hours of COVID-19 vaccination. The 14-year-old began having symptoms on the same day as vaccination with the Moderna vaccine (VAERS ID 1396461-1). The attendant for the 15-year-old described him as “at risk for life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias until myocarditis resolves” after just one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The suffering of this 15-year-old is particularly heartbreaking, because he already had COVID-19 immunity due to prior symptomatic COVID-19 infection in September of 2020 (VAERS ID 1490330-1). We wonder who on earth advised this poor young man to get vaccinated?

Your Excellency, we are persuaded that public health authorities have recommended the vaccination of children, not for the sake of children themselves, but for the sake of the adults in their communities. Little Suzy may not need vaccination herself, but we’re going to vaccinate her anyway so that she is less likely to transmit the disease to her teachers or grandparents. But this is unethical medicine—it violates the Hippocratic Oath to “first do no harm.” If it happens to benefit the community that a child be vaccinated, that’s all to the good. But a vaccine must first benefit the child, or it should not be given at all. That’s basic medical ethics. We believe the assertion of protecting children is a facade to justify using children to protect adults. In fact, some are brazenly admitting the true reason for vaccinating children. One columnist for The Washington Post recently wrote: “Aside from protecting children themselves, vaccination makes sense for the greater good—to help reduce community transmission.”

Wherever did we get the idea that we can use children’s bodies “for the greater good?” Children have a right to bodily integrity. A child’s body should never be deliberately invaded for any purpose except the child’s own benefit, and the expectations of such benefit must be based on robust scientific evidence. The present COVID-19 vaccinations do not come anywhere near this evidentiary threshold.

Your Excellency, you have put your great moral authority behind the project to vaccinate children. Thus, you have an obligation to find out for yourself whether such vaccinations actually serve children, or whether this is really being done with the aim of protecting adults. You might begin by consulting us signatories who are medical professionals. Indeed, all of us remain

Your servants,

Dr. John and Jennifer Hay, St. John Neuman Parishioners
Brian and Cara Wright, All Saints Parishioners
Stacy Dunn
Steven J. Smith, MD
Susan D. Smith
Keri McFarlane Bentley MD
Suzanne Fisher, RN, BSN
Daniel Drapp
Jeanne Duffy
John W Duffy, Jr., concerned practicing Catholic of seventy (70) years
Armantine K Williams, RN, PNP
Jim Keller
Clifford Frana
Dr. John Michael Coulter and Ashley Coulter
Andrew and Kelly Lenzi
Matthew Greiner, Physician Assistant
Fran Markiewicz
Mindy Samuelson, Knox County Parent
Elena Petzold, Knox Country Resident, Mom
Clara Hay
Skyler Hay
Bert and Carmen Tondo
Seth and Lisa Sinclair
Barbara Sommer, RN
Michael Konrad, DDS
Mr. Thomas Horan
Michelle Horan, Clinical Laboratory Technologist
Mr. Robert and Mrs. Tina Shields
Christine Kear, PT (Holy Ghost Parishioner)
Stephanie Settlemyre, Teacher
Allison Gohn
Dr. Jake Parrish D.C.
Rachel Parrish
Catherine S. Pfeffer, CNA
Lydia Greiner
Mrs. Christina Gouge, SJN parishioner
Lindy Crace
Mr. Bradley DeBusk and Dr. Melanie DeBusk
Ryan & Megan Price
Paula Suchomski
Casey Lane
Molly Breaux, RN, CEN, CFRN – St John Neumann
David Wade
Jeff & Sarah Bryant
Priscilla McKinney
John McKinney
Tamara Benton
Marie Doty
Greg and Rachael Witkemper
Inna Ivanov
Eugene Ivanov
Mary Ann Fennell, professional violinist and grandmother
Brandon & Carly O’Connor
Nathan Hodges, business owner
and Rachel Hodges, FNP-BC
Sean and Tracy Metz, Holy Ghost Parishioners
Carolina DuPont
Mandy O., mother of five