Parents have a ‘responsibility’ to inoculate their children against Covid-19, the health official said

White House health adviser Anthony Fauci has pushed back on parents who refuse to vaccinate their children based on the low number of serious cases among minors, insisting their arguments don’t make sense.

During an appearance on NewsNation’s ‘Morning in America’ on Thursday, he took a blunt approach with those hesitant to vaccinate their offspring. After host Adrienne Bankert observed that only zero to four children per 1.1 million in the US had required hospitalization due to Covid-19 last week, despite a general surge in cases,  Fauci said the rationale of parents who refer to such statistics to justify declining to immunize their kids “doesn’t make any sense.”

“We vaccinate children for any number of childhood diseases when the mortality of those diseases is far less than the mortality and the morbidity of Covid-19 in children,” Fauci said.

With a rising number of child hospitalizations, it was the “responsibility” of parents to vaccinate their children, he went on. He acknowledged that children were at “less” risk of experiencing severe outcomes from Covid than those in other age groups, however. 

“It’s true that when you compare hospitalizations and severe illness in young children compared to adults, particularly the elderly, there’s no doubt that the likelihood of getting seriously ill for a child is less than for an adult when you’re dealing with Covid-19,” Fauci said, though he added that this did not mean “children don’t get seriously ill.”

They are “suffering” and “dying,” Fauci noted, adding that this would be “avoidable” if their parents simply vaccinated them.

Children aged five and up have been eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine in the US since November. As cases surge across the county, significantly increased by the Omicron variant, so have the number of minors admitted to hospital.

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During the week of December 22 to 28, an average of 378 children a day were hospitalized with Covid – an over 60% jump from the week before, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some have argued, however, that children remain at low risk of severe infection and that parents, not officials, should make decisions about their welfare, with multiple lawsuits filed in recent months aiming to block the vaccination of children without parental consent.

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