Children too young to be vaccinated will still have to wear masks when they are indoors and around others, even if older kids and adults are free to take off face protection once they are fully vaccinated, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday.
“The children do, when they're out there playing with their friends and, you know, particularly in an indoor situation they do,” Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that fully vaccinated people can feel free to take off face masks in most situations, as they are very safe from becoming infected and from infecting others with coronavirus.
“But, you know, one of the things that's also important, that's happened most recently, is the approval of vaccines for children 12 to 15 years old,” added Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The CDC signed off on using vaccines in that age group Wednesday.
And vaccine makers are also testing vaccines in younger children – in groups such as 6-9-year-olds, 2-6-year-olds and infants and toddlers, Fauci said. They’ll soon ask the US Food and Drug Administration to authorize or approve vaccinating those younger age groups.
“Then by the end of the year we hope to vaccinate anybody. Right now, the 12- to 15-year-olds can get vaccinated by the Pfizer vaccine,” Fauci said.