All of the nation’s school kids should be back in classrooms by the fall, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.
“We should anticipate, come September 2021, that schools should be full-fledged in person and all of our children back in the classroom,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the federal agency’s director, told ABC News.
Teachers, students and their parents should be prepared to say goodbye to remote learning — regardless of whether children are vaccinated or not, she said in an interview on Instagram Live.
“We can vaccinate teachers, we can test, there’s so much we can do,” Walensky told the outlet.
Kids older than 12 should be eligible for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine by mid-May, pending Food and Drug Administration authorization for that age group, she added.
Walensky said she expects Moderna’s coronavirus shot would soon follow, meaning that there could be two vaccines approved for children 12 and up by the summer.
However, she anticipated that there probably wouldn’t be an inoculation for those under 12 before the end of the year.
The comments came after Walensky announced during a White House briefing that the highly contagious UK coronavirus variant has become the dominant strain in the nation.
All three vaccines authorized in the US — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — are believed to work against the B117 variant.
Walensky stressed to ABC that the COVID-19 strains spreading across the US are reinforcing her goal to have a large part of the population inoculated.
“My goal is to have people want to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated,” she said.