Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House medical advisor on COVID-19, said that children need to be vaccinated against the deadly virus right now.
According to CNBC, Fauci said, “I do believe that we should vaccinate the children, and there are a number of reasons.” He pointed out that children are often “vehicles of spread” because they spread it to others when they contract the virus. This usually happens when the child is asymptomatic to the COVID-19 virus.
Aside from being potential “vehicles of spread,” the top infectious disease expert also noted that the Delta variant caused an increased spread of symptomatic cases among children. The Delta variant changed the trend of the original COVID-19 virus where adults were most likely to contract the disease.
Fauci said of such a change in trend, “We are almost overrun. We have a lot of children in hospitals now. So even though relatively speaking, compared to an adult they don’t get as seriously ill, we have lost more children from SARS-CoV-2 than we ever lose for influenza — and we vaccinate children against influenza.”
This is not the first time that Fauci talked about the concern over children and COVID-19. In a statement with NBC’s “Meet the Press” in August, Fauci said that other vaccinated people should surround children in order to stay safe from COVID-19. He added that mask mandates in schools would likewise be helpful.
Currently, vaccines are only available for children aged 12 and up. Fauci also said in a different statement that vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 might be available this fall.
Fauci noted, “If you look at the studies that we at the (National Institutes of Health) are doing in collaboration with the pharmaceutical companies, there will be enough data to apply for an emergency use authorization both by Pfizer, a little bit later by Moderna. I believe both of them — with Pfizer first — will very likely be able to have a situation where we’ll be able to vaccinate children. If the FDA judges the data sufficient enough, we could do it by the fall.”