The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended Monday that all children over 2 wear masks in school this fall, regardless of vaccination status, as thecontinues nationwide. The guidelines, which strongly support the return to in-person learning in the coming months, reflect a multi-pronged approach to see students return safely to the classroom more than a began.
“We need to prioritize getting children back into clean hands hygiene will make in-person learning safe and possible for everyone.”― and we all play a role in making sure it happens safely,” said Sonja O’Leary, chair of the AAP Council on School Health, said in a statement. “Combining layers of protection that include vaccinations, masking, and
The body also recommended that parents ensure their children are caught up on vaccinations they may have missed during theand that schools provide adequate indoor ventilation and increased resources for testing, quarantining, and cleaning when positive cases of the virus emerge. (The AAP’s guidelines include exclusions for students with medical conditions or disabilities.)
Vaccines for children in the U.S. are currently authorized only for those 12 and older, meaning many. The AAP pointed to those restrictions in its recommendations and the inability of many schools to monitor students’ vaccination status, particularly in communities with .
The policy guidelines reflect ongoing concerns about the spread of COVID-19, particularly after the highly transmissiblein the United States. Case numbers are rising in every state, and some regions have decided to reinstate — amid ongoing calls from public health officials urging citizens to vaccinate.
Vaccines are the best defense against severeassociated with the disease, and the current immunizations protect well against the delta strain. Less than half of the county is fully vaccinated. Almost all of the nation’s recent coronavirus deaths are among people who were not vaccinated, prompting concern from about a stubborn stall in the level of injections.
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said thisthat he expected more areas to reinstate COVID-19 prevention measures, including mask requirements, on a rolling basis as more transmissible variants cause case spikes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had said in May that fully vaccinated people could remove their masks in most settings amid a vaccination blitz. Still, the has upended some regions’ plans. Dr. , the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Monday on CNN that the AAP’s recommendations were sensible, considering a large swath of the country remained unvaccinated, particularly during the spread of the delta variant.
“When you have a degree of viral dynamics in the community, and you have a substantial proportion of the population that is unvaccinated, you want to go the extra step, the extra mile to make sure that there’s not a lot of transmissions, evenamong vaccinated individuals,” he said. “I think that the American Academy of Pediatrics, you know, they’re a thoughtful group, they analyze the situation, and if they feel that that’s the way to go, I think that’s reasonable.