Story at a glance

  • Actor Matthew McConaughey said Thursday his 13-year-old son, Levi, is vaccinated after sparking controversy earlier this week by voicing opposition to vaccine mandates for young kids.
  • McConaughey, speaking virtually at The New York Times's DealBook summit on Tuesday, said he “couldn't mandate having to vaccinate the younger kids.”
  • “What is NOT true, and insinuated with the click bait headlines since, is that I am against vaccinating kids at all. This is false. In fact, our eldest 13 year old son Levi is fully vaccinated for Covid 19,” he added on Thursday.

Actor Matthew McConaughey said Thursday his 13-year-old son, Levi, is vaccinated and clarified his position on COVID-19 vaccines for children after sparking controversy earlier this week by voicing opposition to vaccine mandates for young kids. 

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“When asked my opinion on the subject of children and vaccination mandates I stated, ‘I couldn’t mandate it for kids just yet.’ What was not clear is that I was referring specifically to the 5-11 year old mandate,” McConaughey reportedly posted on his Instagram story. 

McConaughey, speaking virtually at The New York Times's DealBook summit on Tuesday, said he “couldn't mandate having to vaccinate the younger kids,” noting he wants more information and “right now,” he’s not vaccinating his kids. 

"Do I think there's any kind of scam or conspiracy theory? Hell, no, I don't," he said, adding "Right now, I'm not vaccinating mine, I'll tell you that." 

The 52-year-old on Thursday hit back at critics of his comments who implied that he was against vaccines for children altogether. 

“What is NOT true, and insinuated with the click bait headlines since, is that I am against vaccinating kids at all. This is false. In fact, our eldest 13 year old son Levi is fully vaccinated for Covid 19.”

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McConaughey’s comments provoked a response from Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who spoke of the dangers children may encounter with COVID-19. 

"Many kids have died. Sadly, hundreds of children — thousands — have been hospitalized, and as a dad of a child who has been hospitalized several years ago for another illness, I would never wish upon any parent they have a child that ends up in the hospital," Murthy told CNN

"And the vaccines have shown in these trials for children 5 through 11 they are more at 90 percent effective in protecting our kids from symptomatic infection, and they are remarkably safe as well."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized Pfizer's vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 on Nov. 2, which opened the two-dose series to 28 million kids across the country. And the White House said Wednesday around 900,000 children in the age group were vaccinated in the first week.

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Published on Nov 11, 2021