Watch CBS News

Matthew McConaughey says he opposes vaccine mandates for "younger kids"

COVID vaccines roll out for young children
COVID vaccines roll out for young children 07:57

Matthew McConaughey, who is contemplating a run for Texas governor, said Tuesday that he opposes COVID-19 vaccine mandates for "younger kids."

The 52-year-old actor, who is the father of three children between the ages of 8 to 13, revealed during the New York Times DealBook summit that he was against vaccine mandates for some kids and he will not vaccinate his own "right now."

"Do I think there's any kind of scam or conspiracy theory? Hell, no, I don't," he said, adding he knows scientists are "trying to do the right thing." 

"I couldn't mandate having to vaccinate the younger kids," he later added. "I still want to find out more information." 

Matthew McConaughey on How He Might Fix a Broken Political System | DealBook Online Summit by New York Times Events on YouTube

McConaughey said he and his wife are vaccinated and that his family has followed quarantining and other safety precautions to "protect" his 90-year-old mother from COVID-19. However, he said he admits he will have to "roll the dice" on to whether to vaccinate his children eventually and base it on "where the numbers are in my favor." 

His comments prompted the U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, to respond, saying parents need to recognize "COVID is not harmless in our children." 

"Many kids have died. Sadly, hundreds of children — thousands — have been hospitalized, 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," Murthy told CNN

"The vaccines have shown in these trials for children 5 through 11 they are more at 90% effective in protecting our kids from symptomatic infection, and they're remarkably safe as well."

This week, the White House began a campaign to get the COVID-19 vaccine shots into the arms of children as young as 5 years old. The CDC has recommended Pfizer's pediatric vaccine after the FDA authorized a smaller dose of it for kids ages 5-11. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.