Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday signaled that he supports California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to mandate vaccinations for all students, saying that it is “not a new, novel thing” that is specific to COVID-19.
“I agree with what Gov. Newsom did in California,” Fauci said during an appearance on CBS’s “Face The Nation” on Sunday. “People need to realize that having a vaccine requirement for schools is not a new, novel thing that is very peculiar or specific to COVID-19. We’ve been doing this for decades.”
Newsom, a Democrat, on Friday announced the vaccine mandate for schoolchildren in grades 7 through 12 once the vaccines have received full approval by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), making California the first state to implement such requirements.
“The state already requires that students are vaccinated against viruses that cause measles, mumps, and rubella—there’s no reason why we wouldn’t do the same for COVID-19,” Newsom said at the time.
“So when we see pushback on that, it’s as if this never happened before,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, adding that his own children were required to be vaccinated against other illnesses including measles, mumps, and rubella in order to attend school.
“It’s actually ongoing with other vaccines, so let’s do it with a virus that’s very, very serious.”
So far, the FDA has only granted an emergency authorization for anyone aged 12 to 15. Newsom’s latest vaccine requirement is expected to take effect in January 2022 or the start of the 2022 school year.
Newsom’s plan to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for schoolchildren has received mixed feedback, with West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announcing on Sunday that there’s “no chance” he would do the same.
“From the standpoint of mandates, I don’t believe in imposing upon our freedoms, over and over and over. And I’ve said that over, I don’t know how many times I gotta say it,” Justice, a Republican, told CBS’s “Face The Nation.”
“But from the standpoint of our children, I’m going to still encourage in every way, because I truly believe that the more people that we get vaccinated, the less people will die. But at the same time, we still got to stand up for who we are.”