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Outspoken actor Matthew McConaughey says he believes the COVID-19 vaccine should not be mandated for children.
McConaughey, 52, has previously floated a possible campaign challenge to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R).
What are the details?
According to a report from The Hill, McConaughey said during Tuesday’s New York Times DealBook summit that he does not believe in requiring children to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“I couldn’t mandate having to vaccinate the younger kids,” the actor — who has said he has been fully vaccinated against coronavirus — said. “I still want to find out more information.”
He added, “I’m vaccinated. My wife’s vaccinated. I didn’t do it because someone told me I had to — [I] chose to do it. … Do I think that there’s any kind of conspiracy theory? Hell no. We all got to get off that narrative. There’s not a conspiracy theory on the vaccines.”
“Right now, I’m not vaccinating mine, I’ll tell you that,” he said.
McConaughey shares three children, ages 13, 11, and 8, with wife Camila Alves.
Following McConaughey’s remarks, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said that parents need to recognize that “COVID is not harmless in our children.”
“Many kids have died. Sadly, hundreds of children — thousands — have been hospitalized, and as a dad of a child who has been hospitalized several years ago for another illness, I would never wish upon any parent they have a child that ends up in the hospital,” Murthy told CNN after McConaughey’s remarks made headlines.
He continued, “The vaccines have shown in these trials for children 5 through 11 they are more at 90% effective in protecting our kids from symptomatic infection, and they are remarkably safe as well.”
Murthy added that he believes vaccinations are the right course for children.
“When we began the vaccination effort for adults, actually a few months before we had the vaccine available, if you looked at polls they showed about a third or so of adults were ready to go out and get the vaccine right away,” he said. “What changed, though, is then the FDA and CDC weighed in. People saw their friends and family get vaccinated.”
Murthy concluded, “People also recognized they were getting protected, and they got the chance to talk to their doctors about the vaccine. All of that is going to start happening now with vaccines for children, as well.”