Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday that he strongly supported vaccine mandates for all eligible school teachers and employees.
Fauci made the comments during an interview by Jake Tapper on his CNN show.
"For anybody listening right now, any school districts or teachers, do you think," Tapper asked, "if we're talking about protecting kids, the smart decision would be for school districts and states to mandate vaccines for all those who are eligible for teachers, faculty and staff at schools?"
"I feel strongly that way, Jake, I really do," Fauci responded.
"I mean we want to protect our children, we want to keep them in school physically in the classroom. We've spoken often on this show on the deleterious effects of keeping kids out of school physically, mental health issues, social developmental issues," he explained.
"But if you're gonna do that, you've got to create a safe environment. And there are a few ways of doing that. One of the most important ways is to surround the children with people who are vaccinated if they are eligible to be vaccinated. And that means teachers and personnel in the school," Fauci continued.
"We got to maintain the safety of the children at the same time we provide them with an education in a way that does not hinder them in the way virtual learning does," he concluded.
Tapper responded, "An important lesson for anybody in a school board, or teachers' union, or school administrator to hear."
Fauci has said previously that he expected that local organizations would order their own vaccine mandates without the federal government issuing a national command.
"This is very serious business," Fauci said in August. "You would wish that people would see why it's so important to get vaccinated. But you're not going to get mandates centrally from the federal government."
Fauci also said Thursday that vaccines for children younger than 12 should be approved soon but he could not say when that might be.
"I hope that will be soon, but I can't guarantee it," he said.
Here's the video of Fauci's comments:
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