CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) – Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday that the rationale parents use to keep their child unvaccinated “doesn’t make any sense.”
“We vaccinate children for a number of childhood diseases where the mortality of those diseases is far less than the mortality and the morbidity of COVID-19,” Fauci said on “Morning in America” on Thursday.
“It’s the responsibility of the parent to protect their child,” Fauci said. “You get as many children and as many adults as you possibly can, because each individual needs to be protected, and the more individuals that are protected, the better society does in controlling the outbreak.”
The seven-day-average number of daily hospitalizations for children between Dec. 21 and Dec. 27 is up more than 58% nationwide in the past week to 334, compared to around 19% for all age groups, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Fauci says the number of severe child COVID cases are low, but that may not be comforting if it’s your child in the hospital.
“When you compare the hospitalizations and severe illness in young children, compared to adults, particularly the elderly, there’s no doubt that the likelihood of getting seriously ill of a child is less than for an adult when you’re dealing with COVID-19,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean that children do not get seriously ill.”
Children ages 5 to 11 have only been eligible to get vaccinated since November. Nearly 78% of people age five and older have had at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC. Fewer than 15% of U.S. children in that age group have been fully vaccinated, federal data shows. Children younger than five are not yet eligible to get a shot.
“Virtually all, not 100% but close to that, of the children who are seriously ill in a hospital from COVID-19 are children whose parents decided they did not want to vaccinate them. That is avoidable,” Fauci said.
Fauci says the country’s best defense for children is vaccination. He urged parents to “think about the individual safety of the children.”