Convincing skittish parents to vaccinate their children key to curbing Covid, says Dr. Hotez

To curb the spread of Covid-19 in the future, U.S. officials must convince skeptical parents to vaccinate their children, said Dr. Peter Hotez on Wednesday.

“There will have to be a lot of public communication and a lot of advocacy that needs to be done because parents will be a little skeptical about … a brand new mRNA technology for their children,” said Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development Texas Children’s Hospital said CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith”.

Hotez’s comments came after Pfizer announced earlier in the day that its vaccine is 100% effective in children ages 12-15. Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, said the company will soon submit the new data to the Food and Drug Administration and other regulators. He added Pfizer would request a change to its emergency permit to include anyone 12 and older.

“We see adolescents going to pediatric intensive care units, they get sick, especially those with underlying risk factors,” said Hotez. “If we really want to stop virus transmission, 80 to 85% of the population will have to be vaccinated now that we have variant B.1.1.7, which is so highly transmissible, and I think we could do that.” that by involving young people. “

Hotez said he thinks the US could “vaccinate maybe 75% of adults” by the summer but warned that “we are in the running with this B.1.1.7 variant,” leading to higher mortality and hospitalization rates .

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