Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Thursday said he would not vaccinate his children against Covid, citing concerns over potential heart inflammation.
Paul, a doctor and an outspoken opponent of Covid mitigation measures, said he is concerned about the risk of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, from taking the vaccine.
“I, frankly, wouldn’t vaccinate my children for Covid,” Paul told The Hill on Thursday. “I think the risks of the vaccine are greater than the risks of the disease. The risks of the disease are almost non-existent.”
A very small group of people in the United States have experienced myocarditis after being given Covid vaccines based on mRNA technology. Myocarditis is a condition that has long been linked to a number of viral infections, including influenza and coxsackieviruses, as well as Covid.
Paul suggested that young people take only one dose of the Covid vaccine instead of multiple doses, saying that there is a higher risk of myocarditis among young people after they receive the second dose.
“If you want to give them a vaccine and they’ve already had Covid, why not one instead of three? I think it really is malpractice,” he said. “There is room to debate … but I don’t think there’s any evidence to give three vaccines.”
Paul’s remarks come a day after he grilled Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel during a hearing about the potential risk of myocarditis for young men following Covid shots.
“I also spoke with your president just last week, and he readily acknowledged in private that, yes, there is an increased risk of myocarditis,” Paul said during the hearing Wednesday. “The fact that you can’t say it in public is quite disturbing.”
He repeatedly clashed at Senate hearings with Dr. Anthony Fauci, who served as the government’s top infectious disease expert, for his handling of the pandemic. They argued over topics ranging from herd immunity to the origins of the virus.