Fauci says COVID vaccination mandates for school children ‘good idea’

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Dr. Anthony Fauci says he thinks it’s a good idea amid the surge in coronavirus cases, due the highly contagious delta variant, to mandate COVID vaccinations for students to attend schools.

“I believe that mandating vaccines for children to appear in school is a good idea,” the chief medical adviser for the White House said Sunday in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “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.”

The Culver City Unified School District, a small school district in Los Angeles, last week appeared to become the first district in the nation to require students 12 years and older to be inoculated.

Fauci’s comments come a week after the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine won full approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With the Pfizer vaccine fully approved and with children across the country heading back to school, more than 100 congressional lawmakers last week urged the FDA to give initial authorization for COVID vaccines for those under 12 years of age as soon as possible.

Fauci, in a separate interview on ABC’s “This Week,” said that the FDA “hopefully will be acting quickly.”

“The data has been collected and we should have enough data by, I would say, the end of September, middle to end of September, early October, so that those data can then be presented to the FDA to examine for the risk benefit ratio of safety and effectiveness,” Fauci added.

And Fauci said that public health officials are sticking with the current recommendation that people get booster shots eight months after getting the COVID vaccine, but that could change going forward.

“We’re still sticking with the eight months,” Fauci said. “However, as we’ve said, even in the original statement that came out, we’re gonna have to go through the standard way of the (Food and Drug Administration) looking at the data and then the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. 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.”

The 80-year old Fauci, the top infectious disease adviser to every president dating back to Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s, has been vilified by many on the right over the past year. The reelection team of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who’s popularity among conservatives has soared due to his pushback against pandemic restrictions, began selling “Don’t Fauci by Florida” political merchandise earlier this summer.

Fauci said in his CNN interview that the criticism leveled at him is “just a reflection of the politicization of what should be a purely public health issue and it’s really unfortunate.”

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