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"I think that's a very long way off," Scott Gottlieb said on CBS's Face the Nation. "The older kids, the high school kids, the middle school kids, do seem to get into trouble more with COVID. It's harder to control in those settings, so that's gonna be considered separately. But even that is, I think, a multiyear effort. I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon."
Gottlieb said past vaccine mandates for children typically required multiple years before they are introduced to the childhood immunization schedule.
"HPV was first licensed in 2006 and wasn't recommended until 2016. Hepatitis A was first licensed in 1995 and wasn't recommended until 2000," Gottlieb said. "So you've seen it be a multiyear effort between when these things get licensed initially and when CDC ultimately puts them into the recommended schedule for children."
"I think it's a very long way off," @ScottGottliebMD tells @margbrennan of potential for a vaccine mandate for elementary school children.
On a timeline, Dr. Gottlieb says: "12 to 17 could be a couple of years away. I think five to 11 is even longer than that." pic.twitter.com/lQSy0406cH
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) October 10, 2021
The former FDA commissioner said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will likely want to analyze how much the virus transmits and the risks posed to children in the "post-pandemic experience."
Gottlieb predicted the mandates could begin for the 12-17 age group in "a couple of years" and "5 to 11 is even longer than that," so long as a new variant does not thwart the progress made so far throughout the pandemic.
Pfizer is the only vaccine available for children as young as 12. However, most states do not require children to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at this time. California just became the first state to require vaccines for children 12 and older earlier this month.
"Given our current trajectory of where we are and that we are starting to get control of our virus, I think that CDC is going to act very cautiously," Gottlieb said, adding his support for additional subsidies for test kits in order to allow more ways for families to prevent possible infections.
"I think the government can be doing a lot more to subsidize the availability of those tests. ... It looks to be what the Biden administration is aiming to do," Gottlieb added.
The United States has vaccinated roughly 57% of its population, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Nearly 76% of people ages 12 and older have had at least one vaccine, the CDC reported.
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Original Author: Kaelan Deese
Original Location: Former FDA commissioner says child vaccine mandates are 'multiyear effort'