NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci Thursday admitted there are no studies or data that show a decline in child hospitalization or death after receiving a COVID-19 booster shot. The FDA authorized a booster shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech shot for children 5-11 years old last month.
The admission came as part of a heated exchange between Fauci and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing.
“Dr. Fauci, the government recommends that everybody take a booster over age 5. Are you aware of any studies that show a reduction in hospitalization or death for children who take a booster?” asked Sen. Paul.
“Right now there has not been enough data that has been accumulated, Senator Paul, to indicate that that’s the case,” Fauci replied. He went on, trying to defend the booster by saying that children with COVID-19 die more than children without it, but he was interrupted by Sen. Paul.
“Right, so there are no studies – and Americans should all know this – there are no studies on children showing a reduction in hospitalization or death with taking a booster,” said the senator.
He pointed out that the only scientific support for boosting children is that the booster creates antibodies.
“The only studies that were permitted, the only studies that were presented, were antibody studies. So they say, ‘If we give you a booster, you make antibodies. Now a lot of scientists would question whether or not that’s proof of efficacy of a vaccine.”
He then asked Fauci if 10 boosters should be given, since each booster produces antibodies.
“No, I think that is somewhat of an absurd exaggeration,” answered Fauci, who was again cut off by Sen. Paul, reminding the public health official that that is the explanation given by the government to recommend boosters.
To add to his case, the senator cited the vaccine’s risk factors, which include myocarditis and blood clots.
“So there is risk and there are risks, and you’re telling everybody in America, ‘Just blindly go out there because we made antibodies.’” pressed Sen. Paul. “So it is not an absurd corollary to say that if you have 10 – in fact, you probably make antibodies if you get a hundred boosters, all right? That’s not science, that’s conjecture, and we should not be making public policy on it.”
Fauci tried to respond by saying that there is “clear-cut clinical data” to support boosters for 40s+.
“But not for children,” Sen. Paul cut in again. “Here’s the thing: You’re not willing to be honest with the American people.”
“How many kids are dying and how many kids are going to the hospital who have already had COVID?” he challenged. “The answer may be zero, but you’re not even giving us the data because you have so much wanted to protect everybody from all the data because we’re not smart enough to look at the data.”
Fauci, who has been vaccinated four times, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.