Dr. Anthony Fauci and former President Barack Obama showed up to Kimball Elementary School in Washington, D.C., yesterday to advocate for vaccinating children.
Together, Fauci and Obama walked around the school, giving fist bumps and telling kids and parents about how important the vaccine is for staying healthy and keeping others safe, WUSA-TV reported.
“We are just getting through the holiday season, and we now have one more thing to be thankful for, and that is that we can get kids vaccinated if they’re between the ages of five and 11,” Barack Obama said, according to WRC-TV.
“I don’t love getting a shot, but I do it because I know it’s going to keep me healthy,” he added.
Obama later tweeted photos of his visit to the school along with encouragement for everyone, both kids and parents, to get vaccinated.
Getting our kids fully vaccinated is the best way to protect them against COVID-19. Today, Dr. Fauci and I stopped by Kimball Elementary School to meet with families and kids getting their vaccines—and encourage more parents and kids to do the same. pic.twitter.com/jhReaKJ7d9
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 30, 2021
This comes after the FDA gave Pfizer emergency use authorization to vaccinate children ages five to 11 at the end of October.
“As a mother and a physician, I know that parents, caregivers, school staff and children have been waiting for today’s authorization. Vaccinating younger children against COVID-19 will bring us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a FDA news release.
“Our comprehensive and rigorous evaluation of the data pertaining to the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness should help assure parents and guardians that this vaccine meets our high standards.”
The school that Fauci and Obama visited is in Ward 7. According to WRC, only 42 percent of children over the age of five are fully vaccinated in Ward 7, and Ward 8 has an even lower rate.
This is similar to nationwide numbers. In the United States only about 60 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, USA Facts reported.
Despite the FDA’s approval of an EUA for the vaccine for younger children, there is still hesitation among parents about getting their kids vaccinated.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation research only “about a third of parents (34 percent) say they will vaccinate their 5-11 year old child ‘right away’ once a vaccine is authorized for their age group.”
“About a third of parents (32 percent) say they will ‘wait and see’ how the vaccine is working before having their 5-11 year old vaccinated. Notably, the share who say they definitely won’t get their 5-11 year old vaccinated remains steady at one in four (24 percent).”
Despite many advocating the vaccine for children, some researchers are still unsure just how necessary it is for them to have it.
“Researchers disagree on how much kids have influenced the course of the pandemic. Early research suggested they didn’t contribute much to viral spread,” WUSA reported. “But some experts say children played a significant role this year spreading contagious variants such as alpha and delta.”
“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus that causes COVID-19. We know millions of parents are eager to get their children vaccinated and with this decision, we now have recommended that about 28 million children receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a press release.
“As a mom, I encourage parents with questions to talk to their pediatrician, school nurse or local pharmacist to learn more about the vaccine and the importance of getting their children vaccinated.”
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