Surgeon General Vivek Murthy Responds to Matthew McConaughey: ‘Please Consider Strongly Getting Your Children Vaccinated’

(INSET: Matthew McConaughey) Dr. Vivek Murthy, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to be U.S. surgeon general, speaks during a news conference at the Queen Theater December 08, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. With the novel coronavirus pandemic continuing to ravage the country with daily records for infections and deaths, members of Biden's …
Chip Somodevilla/Getty, Noam Galai/Getty Images for HISTORY

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy responded Tuesday to actor Matthew McConaughey’s hesitancy in vaccinating his children against coronavirus, warning that COVID-19 “is not harmless in our children” — a claim not advanced by McConaughey.

“Covid is not harmless in our children,” he said during an appearance on CNN’s OutFront on Tuesday.

“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 said.

“And the vaccines have shown in these trials for children 5 through 11 they are more at 90 percent effective in protecting our kids from symptomatic infection,” he continued, asserting they are “remarkably safe.”

Murthy closed by urging parents: “Please consider strongly getting your children vaccinated.”

The remarks follow U.S. health officials approving of Pfizer’s shots for children ages 5 to 11, with President Joe Biden similarly begging parents to “please” get their children vaccinated.

“Because here’s the deal. Children make up one-quarter of the cases in this country and while rare, children can get very sick from COVID-19 and some can end up, few can end up hospitalized,” he said earlier this month, repeating the claim that the vaccine is “safe and effective.”

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), “among states reporting, children ranged from 1.7%-4.2% of their total cumulated hospitalizations, and 0.1%-2.0% of all their child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalization.” The mortality rate among children is even lower, accounting for 0.00 percent to 0.26 percent of all COVID-19 deaths. According to AAP, “7 states reported zero child death,” and “in states reporting, 0.00%-0.03% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in death.”

Murthy’s statement comes after the Dallas Buyers Club star, who is flirting with a gubernatorial run in Texas, expressed hesitancy on vaccinating children, breaking from many of his Hollywood peers.

“I couldn’t mandate having to vaccinate the younger kids. I still want to find out more information,” McConaughey told Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times DealBook summit, although he made it clear that he is personally vaccinated.

“I’m vaccinated. My wife’s vaccinated. I didn’t do it because someone told me I had to — [I] chose to do it,” the actor said. “Do I think that there’s any kind of scam or conspiracy theory? Hell no. We all got to get off that narrative. There’s not a conspiracy theory on the vaccines.”

However, the Dazed and Confused star said he will not vaccinate his children, despite the ability to do so with clearance from public health officials.

“I’m in a position though where I can do that, and I understand that not everyone can do that,” he said of opting for testing requirements.


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