Surgeon General Vivek Murthy suggested that “fully” vaccinating kids against COVID-19 will make them stay in school in a Friday interview with CNN’s John Berman.
“But here’s one thing that’s important to know, John, about test-to-stay,” Murthy said, referring to programs in schools that test students for COVID-19. “Test-to-stay is a way of getting kids to stay in schools as opposed to being out of schools during their quarantine period. But if your child is vaccinated, if they’re fully vaccinated, then actually you treat the quarantine differently.”
“You don’t necessarily have to separate from other people,” Murthy continued. “You do have to take precautions. You may need to get tested at day five of that quarantine period. But you can actually keep your kids in school more effectively without having to do the serial testing with test-to-stay if your children are fully vaccinated.” (RELATED: Vaccinating Kids Isn’t The Way To End The Pandemic, Experts Say)
“I mention this John because right now, in the United States, we have less than 20% of kids in the 5-11 range who are fully vaccinated,” Murthy added. “We have to get those numbers up to protect our kids but also it will help keep them in school.”
Murthy’s call for increased vaccinations in the 5-11 age group aligns with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that all kids above the age of 5 get vaccinated. The CDC also recommends children aged 12 and up get boosted.
However, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, stated that there’s “no evidence right now that healthy children, or healthy adolescents, need boosters.” Swaminathan instead argued that the main purpose of booster shots are to protect those most at risk to COVID-19.
COVID-19 has not posed a major risk to children, with unvaccinated kids being safer from the disease than their fully vaccinated grandparents, the Daily Caller reported. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a Pfizer vaccine for the 5-11 age group in October of 2021.