Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that he supports Covid-19 vaccine mandates for school children, including those under 12, as they head back to school.
"I believe if you get the imprimatur about the safety, and the strong benefit risk ratio for the children," Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper, "when that gets established, which I believe it certainly will by the FDA and the ACIP, I believe that mandating vaccines for children to appear in school is a good idea."
"We've done this for decades and decades, requiring polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis, so this would not be something new," Fauci said, noting that there have been vaccine mandates in the past.
Tapper prefaced the question by stating that California's Culver City Unified School District had just become the first school district in the US to mandate the Covid-19 vaccine for school children ages 12 and over, not just for teachers and staff. That district will also continue with masking and testing both unvaccinated and vaccinated students, teachers, and staff.
Fauci said that the FDA will begin studying the data regarding Covid-19 vaccines and children 12 and under by mid to late September. He said that there should be enough data surrounding this by early October with a good chance that the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines will get FDA clearance for children 12 and under by Christmas.
Tapper asked about Oregon Governor Kate Brown's outdoor mask mandate, asking Fauci "Is there science reason that justifies an outdoor mask mandate for vaccinated Americans?"
Fauci declined to answer in specific, but said that "there are certain circumstances where you have very crowded, congregate settings even on an outdoor basis. And remember that the CDC has said that there are circumstances, somewhat unusual, but there are circumstances even in an outdoor situation where you have people clustering together where it might be better to have people wearing masks."
This comes at the same time that the CDC has been tracking increased cases of myocarditis and pericarditis in teenagers and young adults who have received the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, which is the technology behind the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. In August, a study was published in the American Society of Pediatrics about seven US boys ages 14-19 who experienced myocarditis, a particular type of heart inflammation, after receiving the Pfizer vaccine.