The “Dallas Buyers Club” Oscar winner, who has promoted the country’s inoculation effort and said he’s vaccinated, said Tuesday that he’s against vaccine mandates for youngsters and won’t be getting the shots for his three school-age kids. (Watch the video below.)
“Right now I’m not vaccinating mine, I’ll tell you that,” McConaughey told New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin at the newspaper’s DealBook summit.
“I couldn’t mandate having to vaccinate the younger kids. I still want to find out more information,” he added.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use in children ages 5 to 11 last month, giving McConaughey time to carve out his reasoning as he ponders a possible bid for Texas governor against far-right Gov. Greg Abbott.
The “Interstellar” star made clear that his hesitancy was not due to conspiracy theories. He said his family has always been slow to get vaccines, and they test often for the coronavirus in part because his 90-year-old immunocompromised mother lives with them.
Asked directly about McConaughey’s comments on CNN, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy pushed back.
“This is an opportunity to protect our kids,” Murthy told anchor Erin Burnett.
Murthy said it was OK to ask questions and seek credible answers from qualified sources. But he emphasized that “Covid is not harmless in our children.”
“Many kids have died. Sadly, hundreds of children ― thousands ― have been hospitalized,” he continued. “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.”
Check out McConaughey’s vaccine remarks at 19:00: