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As parents and public health officials consider plans to return to school by the fall, they should encourage, but not demand, COVID-19 vaccination for children, Anthony Fauci said Thursday. , MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. .
“Whenever you talk about requiring something, that’s always a loaded problem. So I’m not so sure we should demand kids,” Fauci told “CBS This morning. “
“We should encourage them,” he added.
This week the FDA and CDC approved the Pfizer vaccine for people ages 12 to 15, and pharmacies across the country began offering the vaccine to teens on Thursday. In clinical trial data for the age group, Pfizer said the vaccine was 100% effective in preventing COVID-19.
A recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 30% of parents with children between the ages of 12 and 15 said they plan to vaccinate their children immediately. Another 26% said they would wait, 18% said they would only do so if needed for school and 23% said they would “definitely not” vaccinate their children.
On Thursday, Fauci urged parents to vaccinate their children, but said demanding it for the school is “debatable.”
“You have to be careful when you make the requirement of something,” he said. “That usually causes a lot of setbacks, which are understandable.”
Children and teens usually get mild COVID-19, but a small amount have “serious problems,” Fauci said. Several hospitals across the country have opened long-distance pediatric COVID units for children with symptoms for weeks or months. Some children have also developed a rare inflammatory syndrome or have died from COVID-19. Fauci said it was “very important” that children be vaccinated when they could.
“The other aspect is that [people] It is important to understand that when children become infected, even though they do not suffer from serious illnesses, they may inadvertently and innocently transmit the infection to another person, perhaps another vulnerable family member. add Fauci.
CBS News: “Fauci says” we should encourage “children to get vaccinated, but demanding it is” debatable. “
Kaiser Family Foundation: “KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor – April 2021”.