As we get a better idea of what exactly Back-to-School 2021 will look like from a mid-pandemic perspective, experts are beginning to make recommendations for how to safely resume in-person learning during this period before majority of school-aged children can get vaccinated. The latest organization to speak out on what they think the right move will be is the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), releasing guidance on Sunday recommending that in-person education was worth the risk, provided schools take precautions and have all students and teachers mask-up while indoors, even if they are fully vaccinated.
“The AAP believes that, at this point in the pandemic, given what we know about low rates of in-school transmission when proper prevention measures are used, together with the availability of effective vaccines for those age 12 years and up, that the benefits of in-person school outweigh the risks in all circumstances,” per the AAP. “…The AAP continues to recommend that all staff and students who are two years or older wear face masks unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit their use.
The AAP strongly recommends in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year and urges all who are eligible to be vaccinated to protect against COVID-19. Read more here: https://t.co/58L7GpE1JK pic.twitter.com/0BnvqVFpbh
— American Academy of Pediatrics (@AmerAcadPeds) July 19, 2021
This news comes after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their K-12 guidance on July 9. Per that guidance, they repeated that “vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy” for the pandemic, that schools are recommended to keep three feet of physical distance between students within classrooms and that masks should be worn indoors by all individuals who aren’t fully vaccinated (meaning two weeks out from their single dose of a Johnson & Johnson shot or their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna shots).
As the vaccine is only available to people 12 and over as of writing, the AAP’s recommendations work to ensure that the majority of unvaccinated kids who are in schools are offered the most protection possible from highly transmissible variants and it would bypass concerns over actually being able to monitor vaccination status and how to monitor enforcing mask-use among groups that include people who are both vaccinated and unvaccinated.
While the policies that schools plan to adopt still continue to take shape, a clear opinion from an authority in children’s health is a good one to consider as you communicate with your school about coronavirus safety this fall.
This kids face mask gallery is a good place to start shopping!