CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky said she believes all children will be back in the classroom by September.
She said the current vaccination rollout means enough of the population will be inoculated against Covid-19 to stop remote learning.
The CDC has reported 170 million vaccines administered to date, with 64 million Americans fully vaccinated with two doses.
CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky said she believes all children will be back in the classroom by September
Dr Walensky told ABC News’s Dr Jennifer Ashton that there should be no more remote learning by the fall
Dr Walensky told ABC News’s Dr Jennifer Ashton: ‘I think with the combination of testing and vaccination for our older populations, and I really hope a decreased number of cases, that we should anticipate, come September 2021, that schools should be full-fledged in person, and all of our children back in the classroom.’
The health chief added that children would return to school regardless of whether they have been vaccinated.
Children without serious health conditions are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine but Dr Walensky estimated they will be offered shots by mid-May.
But even if children have not been vaccinated, teachers and parents should be inoculated and more testing could be in place to ensure schools stay open.
The health chief added that children would return to school regardless of whether they have been vaccinated
Pfizer recently shared data showing its vaccine is safe and effective for children aged 12 to 15.
Moderna currently has trials underway and Dr Walensky expects them to follow Pfizer by offering a jab by summer.
But she said she does not expect the vaccine to be authorized for children aged under 12 before the end of the year.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden warned Americans that ‘we aren’t at the finish line’ when it comes to the pandemic and said it is not yet time to return to normal.
‘The virus is spreading because we have too many people who see the end in sight and think we’re at the finish line already. But let me be deadly earnest with you: We aren’t at the finish line. We still have a lot of work to do,’ he said in remarks at the White House.
Biden issued his warning as he announced he will move up the vaccination eligibility goalpost by two weeks so all American adults can get inoculated from April 19.
‘No more confusing rules. No more confusing restrictions. My message today is a simple one. Many states have already opened up to all adults. But beginning April 19 every adult in every state, every adult in this country is eligible to get in line to get a COVID vaccination,’ he said.
The country is facing a fourth surge of the virus, experts have warned amid worries about the number of variants on the rise.
‘New variants of the virus are spreading and they’re moving quickly,’ Biden pointed out. ‘Cases are going back up, hospitalizations are no longer declining. While deaths are still down, way down from January, they’re going up in some places.’
He also touted the administration’s progress since he took office: over 80% of teachers, school staff and childcare workers received at least one shot by the end of March and 150 million shots in the arms of Americans.
‘We’re not even half way through vaccinating 300 million Americans. This is going to take time,’ he said. ‘Now is not the time to celebrate.’
President Joe Biden warned Americans that ‘we aren’t at the finish line’ when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic and he reminded people to remain cautious
President Biden reminded Americans that even after getting a shot it takes time for the vaccine to kick in so a person is fully innoculated
He also reminded people that it takes time for the vaccine to take affect, particularly if one gets the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, which take two shots.
‘To get your first shot next week in mid April, you won’t be fully protected until until May, late May. If you get your first shot in Mid May, you aren’t fully protected until late June. So look. Now, on the one hand, June, isn’t that far away, given how long this has been going on, but it isn’t here yet either,’ he said.
Biden’s new eligibility goal comes as 34 states have already opened up vaccination eligibility to those 16 and older and 41 states will have have it opened up to adults before April 19 anyway.
During a speech last week, Biden already said 90% of adults would be eligible for vaccines by mid-April – and the previous goal was to open it to everyone above 18 by May 1.
President Joe Biden speaks with medical workers during a visit to a coronavirus vaccination site at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va.
The announcement comes as 41 states have already or will already have vaccine eligibility open to those 16 and older by April 19
Before Biden’s new goal is unveiled, 41 states will have already opened up vaccine eligibility to adults. And four other governors have announced they will open it up by April 19.
Although eligibility is expanding at a rapid pace, this does not necessarily mean inoculation rates will speed up in the U.S.
Some states are experiencing obstacles with getting shots in the arms of even those who are more at risk – like individuals older than 60 and those with preexisting conditions.
People have lamented of lone wait times and lines while others say they can’t even get an appointment and spend their days refreshing web pages to try and snag a time to get the shot.
A few states have even reported shortages of shots.
Notably last week, a facility in Baltimore, Maryland had to throw out 15 million one-shot doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after an ingredient error.
The administration has set some low goals they have easily surpassed and later changed to be more ambitious.
When taking office, Biden said he wanted to get 100 million shots administered in his first 100 days in office. Far exceeding that goal, he later said the new target is to get 200 million vaccinations in arms by the 100 day mark.