Covid-19: Kids ages 5 to 11 ‘need to get that vaccination,’ says Dr. Peter Hotez

Dr. Hotez urged parents to avoid misinformation and to get their younger children vaccinated after Pfizer officially asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its Covid-19 vaccine with BioNTech for kids ages 5 to 11.  

“There’s a narrative out there that’s false…that this is an illness that’s exclusively of older Americans, those over the age of 70 or 80, and we learned with this delta variant over the summer…it was never true,” said Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital. “Kids need to get that vaccination, so it’s really good news, and, hopefully, shortly after Halloween it will be released to the public.”

If the FDA approves the vaccine, 28 million more kids would be eligible for it. Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is only approved for kids 12 and up. A key FDA vaccine advisory group is scheduled to meet on Oct. 26 to discuss Pfizer’s data. 

More than 22,000 children have been hospitalized due to Covid-19 and 520 have died, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Hotez told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that given those high numbers, the “need is apparent” to vaccinate kids ages 5 to 11. 

Hotez called out another false narrative when it comes to Covid-19 vaccines for kids.

“The other piece of disinformation that you’re hearing is that we’re only vaccinating kids to protect the adults and that kids are fine, and we’re only using them as, kind of, cannon fodder to protect the adults, and it’s nonsense,” said Hotez.

(With inputs from CNBC)