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Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted Thursday that although the Biden administration recommends that everyone over the age of 5 receive a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, there is currently insufficient evidence to show that the boosters actually reduce hospitalization or death rates in children. .
During a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, asked Fauci if he knew of any studies that showed a reduction in deaths or hospitalizations in children who had received boosters.
“At this time, there is not enough data accumulated, Senator Paul, to indicate that this is the case,” Fauci said. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases began to explain that he believes the basis for the recommendation had to do with looking at the morbidity and mortality of children in different age groups, when the senator cut him off.
“So there are no studies. And every American should know this. There are no studies in children that show a reduction in hospitalization or death from taking a booster,” Paul said.
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Paul, who is also a doctor, pointed out that the only studies that had been done were antibody studies, which he argued were not enough to prove the efficacy of a vaccine. He stated that the fact that a vaccine produces antibodies does not mean that it is necessary. To illustrate his point, he argued that a person could get 10 boosters and get antibodies from all of them, but that doesn’t mean a person should get 10 boosters.
Fauci, who testified virtually because he currently has COVID-19, called Paul’s hypothesis “somewhat absurd exaggeration,” but Paul asserted that this is basically what the government is doing.
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“That is not science. They are guesses. And we shouldn’t be making public policy about it,” she said.
Paul acknowledged that “there is probably some indication” that boosters are beneficial for older people who are at health risk if they contract COVID-19, but that this is not the case for younger people. Rather, he said the vaccine could be risky for younger people. Paul pointed to recent reports of an increased risk of myocarditis in men ages 12 to 24 who receive a second dose of a vaccine.
The Republican senator also accused the government of withholding data on pediatric cases of COVID-19. Paul was particularly interested in the number of children who had been previously infected with COVID-19 and later died or were hospitalized from this disease.
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“The answer may be zero, but it’s not even giving us the data,” Paul said.
Fauci did not answer the question, but stated that the “optimal degree of protection” after infection is to get vaccinated, referring to the chances of reinfection of the omicron variant.