Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said in an interview Wednesday that she expects students to return to the classroom for full-fledged in-person learning by September.
In an interview with ABC News, Walensky said parents and teachers should anticipate students going back to school full time regardless of whether children get vaccinated, saying “we can vaccinate teachers, we can test, there’s so much we can do.”
Walensky is hopeful vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer will be available for children 12 and up by the summer, given that Pfizer released data last month showing its vaccine is 100% effective in young teens and Moderna studies on that population are underway.
“We should anticipate, come September 2021, that schools should be full-fledged in person and all of our children back in the classroom,” Walensky said.
In an acknowledgement that reopening schools is crucial for students, the CDC changed its guidance last month by recommending students stay three feet apart in classrooms instead of six feet. The updated guidance allows schools to fit more students inside classrooms, making it easier to coordinate a return to in-person learning.
This is a developing story.