President Joe Biden said he believes those under 12-years-old in the U.S. will able to get vaccinated soon and predicted that until then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will “probably” tell those in that age group to mask up at school.
Biden participated in a CNN town hall Wednesday evening in Ohio. Much of the conversation centered around the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and infrastructure. At the start of the event, the president was pressed on vaccines for those under 12, as that age group is currently not eligible to get the COVID-19 shot. (RELATED: ‘The Choice Is Yours’: In Line With CDC’s Mask Guidance, Biden Gives Americans An Ultimatum On Vaccines)
“The CDC is going to say that what you should do is everyone under the age of 12 should probably be wearing masks in school. That’s probably what’s going to happen,” Biden said after a Democratic attendee asked what his message for parents and educators are as they work on reopening schools. “Secondly, those over the age of 12 who are able to get vaccinated, if you’re vaccinated you shouldn’t wear a mask. If you aren’t vaccinated, you should be wearing a mask.”
Biden was also asked when those under 12 will be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The president suggested this will occur “soon.”
The president, when pressed on “how soon is soon,” said he doesn’t “tell any scientist what to do.” Biden assured viewers that scientists are researching “and making the decision now” and that the answer on vaccinating younger children will come “when they are ready.”
Specifically, Biden predicted that Americans will get a solid answer on vaccines for those under 12 “maybe in the beginning of the school year.” (RELATED: Biden Says Fox News Has ‘Had An Alter Call’ About Vaccinations)
“Usually the process takes the better part of a year or more to get some of these things decided, but the expectation – they’re not promising me any specific date – but my expectation talking to the group of scientists we put together, over 20 of them plus others in the field, is that sometime maybe in the beginning of the school year, at the end of August, beginning of September, October they’ll get a final approval saying the FDA said ‘no, this is it. It’s good,'” Biden explained.
The president also said he believes people in each specific community will know whether a child currently eligible to get the vaccine is truly vaccinated, noting it’s “a matter of community responsibility.”
“I think you’re gonna see it work through,” Biden added.