Vaccinating children could slow school reopening, the National Parents Union fears

Vaccinating children could go a long way in helping students get back to the classroom this fall.

Pfizer said on Wednesday that its Covid-19 vaccine was 100% effective in a study in adolescents aged 12 to 15 years.

Yet Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of the National Parents Union, an education advocacy group, said the drug maker’s announcement could provide another excuse for some superintendents to delay face-to-face learning this spring.

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“We think this is great news, but it shouldn’t be used as another target post to hit before schools reopen,” she said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have already updated their guidelines on how to safely reopen schools to face-to-face learning despite the spread of the coronavirus.

The CDC now says that most students can sit 3 feet apart instead of 6 feet as long as they wear masks, regardless of whether the community transmission is low, moderate, or significant. No vaccination is required.

“Also, vaccinating children is complicated for many parents, who fear the long-term effects these vaccines could have,” added Rodrigues.

“It is one thing to vaccinate adults – but we should do everything in our power to give parents confidence that these vaccines are safe in the short and long term.”

The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine has already been approved for use in the United States in people aged 16 and over.

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