Fauci Backs COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for U.S. School Children | Top News

Fauci Backs COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for U.S. School Children | Top News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said on Sunday he supports COVID-19 vaccine mandates for children attending schools as the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to fuel a surge in cases in the nation.

“I believe that mandating vaccines for children to appear in school is a good idea,” Fauci told CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “We’ve done this for decades and decades, requiring polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis” vaccinations.

“I think there’s a reasonable chance” that the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines could get FDA clearance for kids under 12 before the upcoming holiday season, Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the White House, said last Tuesday.

Dozens of schools nationwide have had to delay the start of the school year or shut down since opening in August, according to data from tracking website Burbio https://cai.burbio.com/school-opening-tracker. Its data shows the impact on schools so far has been heaviest in the South, the epicenter of the current surge in cases and where vaccination rates among those already eligible are generally the lowest in the country.

(Reporting by Linda So; Editing by Paul Simao)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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