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Dr. Fauci Just Said 5 Things Every Parent Should Hear

If his kids were younger, "I would vaccinate them in a second,” Fauci said.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

There's a very good chance that COVID vaccines for kids aged 5 to 11 will be available late next week, as the CDC is scheduled to review its viability. With some polls showing hesitancy among certain parents, and the "more transmissible" Delta variant stalking kids, the urgency is rising. Here to address your concerns is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who appeared on CNN with Don Lemon and spoke with Axios about vaccines for kids aged 5 to 11. Read on for five points that could save your child's life—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Dr. Fauci Said He Would Vaccinate His Kids "In a Second"

Doctor vaccinating child at hospital.

"I sure as hell wouldn't want them to get COVID-19. I would vaccinate them in a second," Fauci said of his three adult daughters, to 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 asked. 

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Dr. Fauci Said Kids Can Get Very Sick and Spread COVID, So Please Get Them Vaccinated

Nurse with thermometer measures fever on patient child in hospital bed, wearing protective visor and surgical mask.

What would Dr. Fauci say to parents who have fears of vaccinating their children? "The answer to that is it would be a good idea to vaccinate the children," said Dr. Fauci on CNN. "When people start seeing that the vaccinations are being distributed and they're being administered and things are going well, people gain more confidence. So I think that number of the people that would be willing, if not enthusiastic about getting their children vaccinated is going to increase. I do feel it's important to vaccinate children. No doubt from a statistical standpoint, when children get infected, there's very much more likely that they would not have a severe outcome compared to elderly person like myself or someone who has an underlying condition. But that doesn't mean that the kids are exempt from some serious illness, because all you need to do is go to the pediatric hospitals around the country. And you see particularly with the Delta variant, which has a much greater chance of transmitting, that more kids are getting infected. And as more kids get infected, some of them may be a small proportion are going to have a serious outcome. Also, you want to make sure that we don't have a situation where the children inadvertently and innocently when they get infected, many of them without any symptoms or spreading it within the family unit, which is something that recent studies indicate that that might be the case. So there's a really good reason to have the children vaccinated. And that's the reason why we hope that we'll be able to answer the reasonable questions that parents would have no doubt about that they have good questions and hopefully in the outreach, we'll be able to adequately answer the questions of the parents."

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Dr. Fauci Said Keep Those Masks On, Even After Vaccination; There's Just Too Much Virus Out There

Woman put on medical protective mask for protection against coronavirus.

Can kids and teachers stop wearing masks after vaccinations? "The answer is not right now," said Dr. Fauci on CNN. "And when you say maskless, I think we have to qualify what you mean. If you're talking about in an indoor space, in which you're not sure everyone is vaccinated or what their status is, the CDC recommendations still says that in the school setting and in indoor congregate places to wear a mask, even when you're vaccinated. And the reason is that the dynamics of infection right now, we still are averaging about 70,000 infections a day. That's a viral dynamic. That's too high to say, okay, we're good to go. We don't need to do any more mitigation. There absolutely will be a time. And I hope that soon when we could put the masks behind us, but I don't believe now, particularly when you're in an indoor setting, that we're ready for that."

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Dr. Fauci Said Vaccinate Your Kids Even if They've Had COVID

Child with face mask getting vaccinated

Dr. Fauci said even if your kid has had COVID, get them vaccinated. "One of the things that's so clear that if you are infected and you recover and then you get vaccinated, the level of your immunity against re-infection is really profound. It goes way, way up making you really very, very well protected against a return infection, even with a different variant, because we know when you have a high level of these neutralizing antibodies, it spills over and covers essentially many of the variants that we know are circulating right now, Delta, obviously the critical one, it occupies about 99% of the isolates in this country," said Fauci on CNN.

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Dr. Fauci Said This is Why the Dosage is Different for Kids 5 to 11

Doctor holding syringe, medical injection in hand with glove.

"These five to 11 year olds would get a smaller dose than kids who are 12 and older, even though they are close in age and" could have "much bigger body sizes. What do you say to parents? Because you know, they're concerned about this?" said Lemon. "You're going to have to make a cutoff some point," said Fauci. "And the empiric cutoff was made at that age from five to 11, as you know, from 12 and older, the dose was the standard dose. They cut the dose down now to about a third of what it is. It was 30 micrograms. It's now 10 micrograms. So I think that's a reasonable thing to do. If you were going to have to start measuring it, like by body weight and things like that, it would really become too confusing. I don't really have any concern as a physician and as an immunologist, knowing the kinds of things when you stimulate the immune system, I think would be okay. I think that was approved." So get vaccinated, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek