‘They are just not affected’: Trump claims children should not receive Covid vaccine

‘We’re lucky we have the vaccine, but the vaccine on very young people is something that you gotta really stop,’ Mr Trump says

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Thursday 17 June 2021 17:26 BST
Trump claims Covid-19 vaccines for children are ‘unnecessary’

Former President Donald Trump has argued against children receiving a Covid-19 vaccine by falsely claiming that school-aged people are “not affected or affected badly” by the novel virus.

“We’re lucky we have the vaccine, but the vaccine on very young people is something that you gotta really stop,” he told Fox News host Sean Hannity during a phone interview on Wednesday.

The president did not clarify the age range of the “young people” he was referring to when making the claim.

“I mean, I don’t see reasons, and I am a big believer in what we did with vaccines, but to have every schoolchild, where it’s 99.99 per cent, they’re just not affected badly,” he added. “Having to receive a vaccine, I think it’s something that you should start thinking about because I think it’s unnecessary.”

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration gave Pfizer emergency use authorisation to its Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 years old following positive results from the company’s clinical trials.

Children have made up a lower percentage of hospitalisations and mortalities during the coronavirus pandemic, but they are not immune to the novel virus.

In the United Kingdom, the delta variant, which has become the country’s dominant strain, was “peaking in the younger group of 12- to 20-year-olds – mainly that group that we’re concerned about here, about making sure they get vaccinated,” Dr Anthony Fauci said during a White House press briefing on 8 June.

What Mr Trump failed to mention was that hospitals were now experiencing an uptick of young people with Covid-19 in their facilities now that many older adults have been partially or fully vaccinated against the virus.

Researchers are now studying the safety and efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine in children 11 years and younger.

President Joe Biden encouraged children last month to receive a Covid-19 vaccine after emergency use authorisation was opened up to their age group.

“We’re gonna have, for the first time, a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine for adolescents over the 12 years age,” Mr Biden said at the time. “This is one more giant step in our fight against the pandemic.”

“This new population is going to find the vaccine rollout fast and efficient,” he added.

Children mostly showed minimal symptoms from Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic. But there is now a small minority of cases in children that display a rare multi-inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, after contracting the novel virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 4,018 cases of MIS-C, which included 36 deaths. The syndrome causes life-threatening inflammation that can impact organs including the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain.

Health experts also recommend for children to receive a Covid-19 vaccine to prevent transmitting the novel virus to others.

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