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Gottlieb says decisions on kids’ boosters should be left up to parents

Stefani Reynolds

Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on Sunday that parents and their physicians should be the ones making decisions about whether to have children receive COVID-19 boosters, adding that boosters should not be mandated by schools.

“I certainly don’t think schools should be mandating boosters. I think this should be left up to the discretion of parents and their physicians. You know, it’s going to depend on the individual circumstance,” Gottlieb told CBS’s Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation.”

Gottlieb explained that children, especially those between the ages of 12 and 16 years old, showed a more robust vaccine durability than that of adults, adding that they are at a lesser risk overall from infection. 

Last week, The New York Times reported, citing those familiar with the FDA’s plans, that the agency is expected on Monday to authorize booster shots of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Children between the ages of 5 and 11 years old who are immunocompromised are also anticipated to be authorized to get boosted, the newspaper noted.

Instead of the previous recommendation of receiving a booster shot six months after a second dose, the FDA is expected to also amend that recommendation to five months for both children and adults.

The authorization, which requires signoff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is expected to be endorsed by its director, Rochelle Walensky, according to the Times.

The decision over whether to require boosters may prove tricky given that states may decide to amend their own definitions of what it means to be “fully vaccinated.” 

Last month, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said she was planning to introduce legislation that would tweak the definition of “fully vaccinated” to include the booster shot. 

Tags booster CDC COVID-19 FDA Kathy Hochul Rochelle Walensky ROchelle Walensky Scott Gottlieb Sunday shows
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