Two Biden administration officials are calling on Early Childhood Education teachers to encourage parents to get their small children vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to The Hill, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Heath and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra co-signed a Wednesday letter to teachers, saying, "We appreciate your leadership, dedication, perseverance, and resilience, and honor your efforts that consistently put the needs of children first."
The secretaries then added, "As trusted messengers, staff of ECE programs and schools play a vital role in spreading the good news that COVID-19 vaccination is available for our youngest children. You are essential in encouraging parents and guardians to learn about and access vaccines for all children 6 months of age and older, which will be available free at no cost."
Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cleared a path for children older than 6 months and under age 5 to receive COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and/or Moderna.
Cardona and Becerra are tasking ECE staffers with three objectives:
- Encourage parents to connect with healthcare providers.
- Share information about COVID-19 vaccines with families with eligible children.
- Partner with local healthcare providers to host vaccination clinics at their facilities or neighborhoods.
The HHS says there are "ample funds" available for its "We Can Do This" campaign, through the American Rescue Plan Act's Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, as a means of reimbursing the cost of hosting vaccination clinics.
In February, the CDC estimated that 75% of unvaccinated children and teenagers in America had already acquired antibodies in their system to ward off or minimize the effects of the coronavirus.
In the study, the CDC examined blood samples taken from all age groups, testing for specific antibodies that develop only after COVID-19 infection.
Not all doctors and politicians, however, are supporting the vaccinate-your-children initiative.
Dr. Peter McCullough, the chief medical adviser to the Truth For Health Foundation, recently questioned the government's supposed haste in touting an "experimental" vaccine, given how the vast majority of children are resilient against the coronavirus.
"I think it was a mistake for the FDA to approve it," McCullough told Newsmax host Amanda Brilhante on June 19. "And clearly the CDC recommendation probably won't be followed by a lot of the parents."
"Children have a very mild syndrome [relative to COVID]. It's not like our senior citizens, who are at risk," said McCullough, while adding the coronavirus is "easily managed" by children.
On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, blasted PBS and HBO for using the "Sesame Street" character Elmo to "aggressively advocate" for vaccinating children under 5, without citing scientific evidence.
"Thanks, @sesamestreet for saying parents are allowed to have questions!" Cruz tweeted along with a video clip of Elmo's dad, Louie.
"You then have @elmo aggressively advocate for vaccinating children UNDER 5. But you cite ZERO scientific evidence for this," added Cruz.
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