Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said that if his children were aged five to 11, he would ‘vaccinate them in a second’ following a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel recommending the jab for that age group.
Fauci, who is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has three adult daughters who are already eligible for the COVID-19 shot.
He told Axios this week that he is confident the vaccine is safe and effective in kids and he trusts it enough that he would use it on his own theoretical young children.
The vaccine will likely receive controversial authorization from regulators within the coming weeks with a large percentage of parents saying they do not want their children to get the jab even if gets a greenlight from the FDA due to the low risk of severe disease in youngsters.
Dr Anthoyn Fauci (pictured) said that if his adult daughters were between ages five to 11 that he would ‘vaccinate them in a second’
An FDA advisory panel voted to recommend authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 jab for children aged five to 11 this week by a 17-0 vote, with one voter abstaining. It would be the first Covid vaccine available to children that young in America. Pictured: A child in Westchester, New York, is vaccinated for Covid on May 16
‘I sure as hell wouldn’t want them to get COVID-19. I would vaccinate them in a second,’ Fauci told Axios.
‘Even though the chances of [a child] getting sick and seriously ill are small – why do you want to take a chance of that with your child when you can essentially protect the child by an intervention that is proven to be both highly effective and very safe?’
He also said earlier in the year that if he had grandchildren, then he would want them to get vaccinated as well.
The jabs for young children are expected to roll out for young children as early as next week.
On Tuesday, and FDA advisory panel voted 17-0 – with one abstention – to recommend authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in children aged five to 11.
There are still more hurdles to clear ahead of the shot becoming available for that age group including the FDA approving the vaccine and recommendation of approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) advisory committee.
Fauci said earlier this month he believes the rollout could begin as early as November 4, assuming there are no hiccups in the approval process.
Dr Michael Kurilla, director of the Division of Clinical Innovation, at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, was the lone person not to vote yes.
He told DailyMail.com on Wednesday there is not enough data available yet to justify the authorization.
‘There clearly are children with risk factors who could potentially benefit from a vaccine, but I don’t see the need for “emergency use” of this vaccine across the entire age group and would have preferred a more nuanced approach,’ he said.
The decision on whether children will get vaccinated will be left up to parents, and not all plan to get their kids jabbed.
Not all parents plan to get their child jabbed, despite the upcoming approval. Just under a third of parents with a child aged five to 11 say they will ‘definitely not’ get their child vaccinated, and another third say they will ‘wait and see’
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, the percentage of parents who oppose jabbing their children has increased in recent months.
The most recent results – published on Thursday – find that 30 percent of parents with a child aged five to 11 report they will ‘definitely not’ get them vaccinated.
This is an increase over September’s monitor, when 24 percent of parents reported they would ‘definitely not’ get their child the jab.
On top of the October group, around five percent of parents say they will only get their child vaccinated if required, and 33 percent reported they would ‘wait and see.’
Of those who say they have concerns about the vaccine, 76 percent fear the long-term effects of the shot, and 71 percent worry their child could experience serious symptoms.
Fauci acknowledged some parents may have questions and concerns about the vaccine and said he understands why.
‘I would reach out and try to explain to parents…why their children should be vaccinated,’ Fauci told Axios.
He still thinks children getting the jab is more important, though, because it would help the nation end the pandemic.
‘[Children getting jabbed] would be an important step in the right direction of controlling the COVID-19 outbreak in this country,’ he said.