Former FDA commissioner Gottlieb says potential vaccine mandate ‘long way off’ for kids

FILE - In this April 5, 2017, file photo, Dr. Scott Gottlieb speaks during his confirmation hearing before a Senate committee, in Washington. The former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday, July 16, 2020, that it will be "challenging" for his home state of Connecticut to continue maintaining its current, relatively low COVID-19 infection rate by this coming fall and winter, considering the large amount traffic in and out of the region. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FILE – In this April 5, 2017, file photo, Dr. Scott Gottlieb speaks during his confirmation hearing before a Senate committee, in Washington. The former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday, July 16, 2020, that it will be “challenging” for his home state of Connecticut to continue maintaining its current, relatively low COVID-19 infection rate by this coming fall and winter, considering the large amount traffic in and out of the region. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

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UPDATED 9:43 AM PT – Monday, October 11, 2021

According to former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, vaccine mandates for children remain a “long way off.” During an interview on Sunday, he said the CDC is going to want to see how the virus plays out post-pandemic and “how much of a risk it poses to children.”

Gottlieb went on to suggest a possible mandate for children ages 12-to-17 “could be a couple of years away,” adding it may be even longer for kids ages five-to-11.

“I think that’s a very long way off,” he asserted. “Certainly CDC’s gonna look at children ages 12-17 differently than five-11. 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 multi-year effort. I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon.”

Gottlieb said the CDC needs to collect more long-term data and predicts they are going to act “very cautiously.”

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