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‘I’m very worried about September.’ Pediatricians want kids masked in class who are too young to be vaccinated

Jul 16, 2021, 4:06 PM

Charter School Draper COVID-19...

SALT LAKE CITY — Some of Utah’s top pediatricians are “very worried” about kids too young to be vaccinated against Covid 19, going back to school this fall.

“I am worried, I am very worried about September, ” said Andy Pavia, MD, chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the U of U Health and director of Hospital Epidemiology at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.

“In an ideal world what we would do is we would have everyone who can’t be vaccinated or who isn’t vaccinated mask when they’re indoors in the classroom,” he said.

Dr. Pavia said there was one thing that could help make the school year more normal, but he called it “a big lift.”

“If by some miracle we could get our vaccination rates up by another 15 or 20% so that 60% of kids 12 to 18 and 80% of adults were vaccinated before school opens, it could go really, really well.”

As for whether vaccines for those 12 and younger will be ready by the new school year, Dr. Pavia doesn’t think so. He said the trials are on track and preliminary safety data could come by this fall, but not final FDA approval.

“We anticipate somewhere around the new year, hopefully a little bit sooner than that,” he said. “But I think the fall for kids 6-11 is going to be one without vaccine.”

Dr. Pavia was joined by Tim Duffy, MD, Pediatrician and Associate Medical Director for Intermountain Healthcare’s Pediatric Service Line as they discussed the current COVID-19 situation in Utah and what it means for kids returning to school.

You can watch the full press conference here.

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‘I’m very worried about September.’ Pediatricians want kids masked in class who are too young to be vaccinated