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COVID-19 Vaccine Updates
With input from Dr Monica Vasudev
1. The US CDC has urged that K-12 schools should be reopened.
2. Increasing evidence suggest that schools can be opened safely if layered mitigation measures are put into practice.
3. Even when students lived in communities that had high transmission rates, elementary students could be given some in-person instruction safely.
4. Middle and high school students could attend school safely at most lower levels of community transmission. This could be possible even at higher levels, if schools follow weekly testing of staff and students to detect asymptomatic infections.
5. Universal masking is the key.
6. There is a growing concern about other risks of staying at home for students, including depression, anxiety, isolation and learning loss. Children’s learning and emotional as well as physical health is being affected by not attending school.
7. The Biden administration’s priority is that children return to classrooms.
8. The teachers should be given the vaccine doses as quickly as possible, but do not need to be inoculated before schools can reopen.
9. Studies have shown that it is safe for schools to reopen with appropriate precautions, even without vaccination.
10. Children have higher odds of getting infected from the outside community and from family members compared to from the school contacts.
11. Schools should be the last to be closed in a community and the first to reopen. [NY Times]
Dr KK Aggarwal
President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA