Education Advocacy Group Leader Says Vaccinating Children May Give Schools Another Excuse To Delay Reopening


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A leader of an education advocacy group said some schools could use child vaccinations as an excuse to further delay reopening classrooms, CNBC reported Wednesday.

Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of National Parents Union, commented on the subject of Pfizer’s announcement that its vaccine is 100% effective in preventing infection in adolescents between the ages of 12-15, according to CNBC.

The development could allow children to start getting vaccinations before the upcoming academic year, which could lead some schools to wait until the fall to reopen, according to Rodrigues. 

“We think this is great news, but it shouldn’t be used as another goal post we need to meet before reopening schools,” Rodrigues said, according to CNBC.

The results from Pfizer’s clinical trial suggest that the vaccine is more effective for that age group than it is for adults and carries similar mild side effects. The trial consisted of 2,300 adolescents throughout the United States.(RELATED: Pfizer’s Vaccine Is Extremely Effective In Adolescents, Data Show)

STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT – MARCH 10: Plastic dividers stand on classroom desks. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

No teen who received the vaccine went on to contract COVID-19, while 18 teens in the placebo group did, Pfizer said in its announcement.

Pfizer is one of three coronavirus vaccines approved for use in the United States, but is the only one approved for 16 and 17-year-olds.

Some of the nation’s largest school districts have made plans to reopen districts throughout March and April, primarily for younger students initially. The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest public school district in the U.S., will begin reopening its elementary schools and early education centers the week of April 12, before reopening high schools the week of April 26, according to NBC Los Angeles. 

Teachers unions have delayed reopenings in many districts, often by demanding that all teachers be vaccinated before returning. A teachers union representing teachers in Fairfax County Public Schools said in January that it wanted to delay the return date until students were vaccinated. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a guidance in February stating that schools can reopen so long as certain precautions are in place, and said teachers do not need to be vaccinated in order for schools to reopen. A month later, the CDC announced that it would reduce the requirement of six feet distancing in classrooms to three feet. 

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