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Surgeon General Just Issued This "Important" Warning

Here’s how to keep the kids safe, he says.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

The United States recorded more than 163,000 new COVID cases Thursday, the highest in nearly seven months—and many of those were kids who are too young to be vaccinated. Meanwhile, the FDA is expected to give "full approval" to the Pfizer vaccine as soon as tomorrow, and booster shots are expected to be available to folks eight months after their last dose of Pfizer and Moderna. With all this in mind, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy spoke with Martha Raddatz on This Week to make clear how to keep yourself and your ks safe today. Read on for 5 essential pieces of advice—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.


Surgeon General Said Hospitals are Filling Up With Children; Here's How to Keep them Safe

Nurse with thermometer measures fever on patient child in hospital bed, wearing protective visor and surgical mask.

Hospitalizations of kids are rising. Dr. Murthy said it "is really heartbreaking to see what's happening with our hospitals, filling up with children. We have more kids hospitalized now than we have in earlier points in the pandemic. And you know, as a parent of two young children who are too young to be eligible for vaccination, I  really feel for parents out there whose kids are ill. And I really feel strongly that it is our moral responsibility as a society to do everything we can to protect our children. And that means that number one, all of us getting vaccinated as adults," including adolecents, it "is important because kids who are too young to get back, they rely on those around them to shield them from the virus. But it's also why making sure we are taking every measure possible in schools to ensure that our kids are safe is so important. And those include masks, improving ventilation, doing regular testing and ensuring that our children are outdoors as much as possible. So these are the steps that we've got to take. We have a responsibility to protect our kids, and I can't think of anything more important than that."


Surgeon General Said Here's What You Need to Know About Your Booster Shot

Doctor holding syringe in hospital.

"There are several things that Americans should know about the booster announcement we recently made. Number one is that the vaccines are continuing to work remarkably well for preventing people from ending up in the hospital and they're saving lives. So that's the reason we are not recommending boosters today, but what we are seeing is a decline in the protection against mild to moderate disease. And so we are anticipating, there may be an erosion and that important protection that we're seeing today down the line. And that's why they stay ahead of this virus. We're recommending that people start to get boosters the week of September 20th. It will start with people on their eight month anniversary following their second shot. And by necessity, we'll end up prioritizing those who are at highest risk, including long-term health care workers, long-term care facility residents for other healthcare workers, as well as the elderly." As for those who got the Johnson and Johnson shot: "We anticipate…they will likely need a booster as well" but an announcement is still to come.

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Just Shared 7 Key Points About Boosters


Surgeon General Said the FDA Would Approve the Boosters so You Know It's Safe

Scientist working in the laboratory

"This is why the plan that we announced is actually contingent on the FDA and the CDC advisory committee doing their full and independent evaluation. Safety is absolutely essential in this process. And we would not execute a plan if the FDA did not weigh in and say that that third shot was in fact safe. So the plan is contingent on that. But again, keep in mind this, that we have a tremendous amount of experience with these vaccines. So far, they've been given to hundreds of millions of people here and around the world. The safety has held up. We'll wait for the FDA to weigh in on the third doses and with their blessing, we will then proceed with that plan for boosters."

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Surgeon General Said We Have to Protect Us and the World at the Same Time

People in protective suits and masks delivering vaccine of coronavirus.

Raddatz said "the World Health Organization has asked for a temporary pause on boosters to help developing nations. The administration has said, we need to do both, but can we really do that? There is a limited amount of these vaccines." "Well, Martha, we don't have a choice," said Murthy. "We have to do both. We have to protect American lives and we have to help vaccinate the world because that is the only way this pandemic ends. And if we assume that the pie is fixed, so to speak, that the supply is not changing, then yes, taking more vaccines or Americans in the form of boosters will take away from the rest of the world. But our focus has been on growing the pie. It's been on increasing the supply. And that's why in addition to donating more than 120 million doses of vaccine and moving out on the commitment of 500 million doses starting this month, that the president announced earlier in the summer, we're also working with the companies and with other countries to stand up manufacturing capacity. So we can really scale up production of the vaccine. We have to work on both fronts. That is the only way the pandemic will end."

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Surgeon General Said to Expect "Full Approval" for Pfizer Vaccine Soon—and Here's What That Means

Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine

"The FDA certainly has been evaluating the application for a full approval from Pfizer and, you know, I won't get ahead of them, but what I will tell you is that I wouldn't be surprised if they issued the full approval soon. And the reason is because they have so much data now, and we as a world have so much experience with these vaccines. It's actually unusual for an application for full approval to be submitted with this much experience, with hundreds of millions of people having received the doses. And there are two things that we've learned during that time. One is that the vaccines are remarkably effective in keeping people out of the hospital and saving lives. The other is that their safety profile remains remarkably strong. I anticipate if, and when this does come from the FDA, the full approval two potential things may happen. One is you may see more people coming forward. Those who perhaps were on the fence about getting vaccinated and this may tip them toward doing so. But second, I think you will see more universities and workplaces that were considering putting in requirements for vaccines to create safer places to learn and work. You'll see more of them likely moving forward on their plans to require vaccines in the workplace." So get vaccinated ASAP, or get your booster after 8 months, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek