Dr. Anthony Fauci acknowledged Thursday that, although the Biden administration recommends that all children over 5 years old receive a booster dose COVID-19 vaccines, there is not enough evidence to show that these boosters have lower rates of death or hospitalization in children.
Rand Paul, R-Ky., asked Fauci to clarify if there were any studies showing a decrease in hospitalizations or deaths for children who received boosters during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing.
Paul, who is also doctor, pointed out that only antibody studies had been conducted. These studies were, he claimed, not sufficient to prove the effectiveness of vaccines. Paul argued that vaccines that produce antibodies do not necessarily mean that they are necessary. He argued that one could have 10 booster shots and still get antibodies, but it does not necessarily mean that you need to get all 10.
Fauci, who was unable to testify because he has COVID-19 at the moment, called Paul’s hypothetical “somewhat absurd exaggeration”, but Paul said that this is what the government is doing.
Paul acknowledged that there is “probably some indication” that boosters can be beneficial for older adults who are at risk of developing COVID-19. However, this is not true for younger people. He stated that the vaccine could pose a risk to younger people. Paul cited recent reports that there is an increased risk of myocarditis among males 12-24 years old who receive a second dose.
A Republican senator also accused government officials of withholding information about COVID-19 pediatric cases. Paul was especially interested in the number children who were infected with COVID-19 and died later or were admitted to hospital.
Fauci didn’t answer the question but said that the best way to protect yourself from infection after it has occurred is to get vaccinated. This refers to the possibility of reinfection with the omicron variant.