Actor Matthew McConaughey is voicing hesitation about vaccine mandates for children, insisting for now that he will not vaccinate his own children — married to Camila Alves since June 2012, the couple has three children, the youngest being 9-years-old.
An Austin, Texas, resident, McConaughey has mulled the possibility of running for governor in the state and he shared his thoughts on vaccine mandates during a New York Times DealBook summit interview, saying he’s not against vaccines but wants “more information” on them before his children take the jab. The actor said he and his wife have been vaccinated, explaining that his 90-year-old at-risk mother is living with them and he “chose” to do it.
“I couldn’t mandate having to vaccinate the younger kids,” McConaughey said. “I still want to find out more information. There’s going to come a time, though, and there has already in these last two years obviously — there will come a time where you’re going to have to roll the dice one way or the other and go: ‘Where are the numbers in my favor?’”
The problem being that choices are limited when it comes to mandates.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 5 years old after clinical trials with about 3,000 children, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to deem the vaccines “safe for children.” Democrat-run San Francisco took the lead in announcing that the city plans to require children 5 and up to show proof of vaccine for some indoor activities in the near future.
Over the weekend, Elmo, Big Bird, and other Sesame Street friends appeared with CNN’s Erica Hill and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, as well as Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, to promote the vaccine for young children. The characters also took to social media, with Big Bird tweeting: “I got the COVID-19 vaccine today! My wing is feeling a little sore, but it’ll give my body an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy. Ms. @EricaRHill even said I’ve been getting vaccines since I was a little bird. I had no idea!”
The development prompted President Joe Biden to do his part in pushing the jab on 5 to 11-year-old children, replying on his official Twitter account: “Good on ya, @BigBird. Getting vaccinated is the best way to keep your whole neighborhood safe.”
McConaughey said he believes that we are “living in the pandemic world for the rest of time” and pushed coronavirus testing while acknowledging that vaccinations have their flaws.
“A vaccinated person can spread it just as well as an unvaccinated person, but there is some proof that if you’re vaccinated and you get Covid your symptoms won’t be as harsh,” the actor said. “But you can spread it just as well, okay. So this is a moving target.”
Host Andrew Ross Sorkin, a Times columnist, mentioned Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, taking exception to Big Bird plugging the shot — Cruz called it “government propaganda.”
After a long pause, McConaughey said, “I want to trust in the science. Do I think that there’s any kind of scam or conspiracy theory? Hell no, I don’t. No, I don’t think there’s any kind of — we all got to get off that narrative, There’s not a conspiracy theory on the vaccines, these are scientists trying to do the right thing.”
“It’s scary,” he added. “Right now, I’m not vaccinating mine (children). I’ll tell you that,”
In Democrat-run Orange County, Florida, officials wasted little time, announcing that as of Tuesday, public schools will be offering the coronavirus vaccine to students as young as 5 years old. The program is voluntary — for now — and requires parents to bring their child in.
“We really wanted to be aggressive to get as many events as we could in before the Thanksgiving break,” Scott Howat, chief communications officer with Orange County Public Schools told News 6 WKMG.
On Tuesday alone, a total of 1,373 students were vaccinated, including 1,003 children between 5-11 years old and 370 who are 12 years old and up, according to OCPS.
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