U.S. top infectious disease expert and Chief White House Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci has called a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for schoolchildren is a “good idea.” He pointed out that the mandate would be a good move with the surge in COVID-19 cases because of the highly transmissible Delta variant.
Fauci made the comments in a Sunday interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” where he said, “We’ve done this for decades and decades, requiring polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis. So this would not be something new requiring vaccinations for children to come to school.”
Fauci’s remarks came shortly after the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine received full approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). After the full approval, children across the United States who are under 12 years old can already get vaccinated, Fox News reported.
Aside from FDA approval, the department is yet to present data regarding the risk-benefit ratio of safety and effectiveness of the vaccines available against COVID-19. Fauci, in a separate interview, said that such data is expected to be available by September or October.
Although there is no mandate yet from the federal government or the local governments, the Culver City Unified School District, a small school district in Los Angeles, has already asked students to be vaccinated. The mandate, however, is only for students 12 years and older.
Fauci further talked about booster shots. Experts said that a booster shot is ideal to be given eight months after getting the last shot of the vaccine. However, he said that it could change as more information and data are available.
He said, “So although we’re sticking with eight, we’re remaining flexible, that if the data tells us differently, we’ll make adjustments accordingly. But for now, we’re sticking with the eight.”