The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines for K-12 schools on Friday that recommended children do not need to wear a mask in school classrooms this fall if they are fully vaccinated, despite vaccines only being available for students ages 12 and up.
“Masks should be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated,” the guidance said.
Parents: Prevent #COVID19 from spreading at school. Get kids 12+ fully vaccinated before school begins. In areas where COVID-19 is spreading, kids who are not fully vaccinated should #WearAMask indoors, on the school bus, and in crowded outdoor settings. https://t.co/EY4kdEaqkI pic.twitter.com/3y6J5asFNd
— CDC (@CDCgov) July 9, 2021
“Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained,” it added.
The guidance acknowledged many students are ineligible for vaccines at this time.
“Many schools serve children under the age of 12 who are not eligible for vaccination at this time,” the guidance said.
“Therefore, this guidance emphasizes implementing layered prevention strategies (e.g., using multiple prevention strategies together consistently) to protect people who are not fully vaccinated, including students, teachers, staff, and other members of their households.”
Even if students are in schools where masks are not required, the new CDC guidance encourages schools to meet in person.
“Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall 2021 is a priority,” it said.
Regardless of whether students are eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, many disagree on whether children should receive a vaccination or even need it.
Numerous school districts plan to go maskless despite the CDC recommendations.
Former President Donald Trump said during a Newsmax interview in June that “young people shouldn’t get” the COVID-19 vaccine, arguing their immune systems are “very strong.”
“I’m the vaccine person,” Trump said during a call-in interview on “Wake Up America.”
“I don’t think that children should get it and I think people should have the freedom on getting it,” he added. “They can’t be forced because they do have rights.”
“I don’t think young people, you know with young people, their immune system is very strong … you can look at, there’s one area where 35,000 people died in a certain state, and they had nobody below the age of, I think, 16, died. Nobody. They had one person, I think that had a serious condition, a precondition.”
“So I just feel young people shouldn’t get it,” he added. “They don’t need it.”
“I don’t think that children should get it and I think people should have the freedom on getting it. They can’t be forced because they do have rights,” Former President Trump discusses the COVID-19 vaccine with @FinnertyUSA. https://t.co/VlT7z8drtO pic.twitter.com/149twpAcQm
— Newsmax (@newsmax) June 25, 2021
The Trump interview also highlights the increased pressure many parents are facing to vaccinate their children.
A growing number of schools and college campuses are encouraging or even requiring vaccination of students, including Rhodes College in Memphis, which plans to charge unvaccinated students an extra $1,500 per semester, WATN-TV reported.
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