Washington: Mandating Covid vaccines for school children is a “good idea”, US top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci said, citing the growing prevalence of the highly-contagious Delta variant.
With Delta variant driving infection rates in the country, children have been particularly affected. About 300 kids are reportedly being hospitalised each day with Covid-19. The cases among children are set to surge with schools reopening.
“I believe that mandating vaccines for children to appear in school is a good idea,” Fauci said in an interview on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday.
“We’ve done this for decades and decades, requiring polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis. So this would not be something new.
“So this would not be something new requiring vaccinations for children to come to school,” he was quoted as saying.
Further, the chief medical adviser for the White House said that the US plan to give citizens booster shots of Covid vaccine eight-month after they complete their doses is “flexible”.
Health officials in the US had announced plans to roll out Covid-19 booster shots for all Americans beginning the week of September 20 and starting 8 months after an individual’s second dose.
However, a formal approval is pending from the Food and Drug Administration, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisory committee, Fauci said.
“We’re still planning on eight months. That was the calculation we made. This rollout will start on the week of September the 20th,” Fauci was quoted as saying to NBC News Sunday.
“But as we’ve said all along, in the original statement, that’s the plan that we have, but we are open to data as they come in.
“We’re not changing it, but we are very open to new data as it comes in. We’re going to be very flexible about it,” he noted.
Earlier this month, the US FDA authorised both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine for use as an additional dose in people with weaker immune systems, which includes organ transplant recipients.
The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 38,796,236 and 637,525, respectively, according to Johns Hopkins University’s latest update Monday morning.