Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the White House, said that it’s conceivable for middle schools and high schools to be completely mask-free in the fall.
“If the children get vaccinated, it is conceivable that that would actually wind up being a recommendation. We’ll just have to wait and see,” said Fauci.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday that more than half a million 12- to 15-year-olds have received a Covid-19 vaccine so far — less than a week since the CDC cleared it for public distribution.
Fauci told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that he predicts the rules on vaccinated students will vary across school districts in different states because the local authorities are the ones with the power to do so.
This week, the governors of Iowa and Texas signed laws banning school districts from mandating masks for students or staff. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said it was up to parents to decide whether their children should wear masks in public schools throughout the state.
Fauci told host Shepard Smith that he believes the U.S. will reach President Joe Biden’s goal of having 70% of U.S. adults receive at least one dose of a Covid vaccine by July 4. In turn, Fauci said that it would be unlikely for the country to experience a Covid-19 surge in the fall if people continue to get vaccinated.
“It’s within our power. We can stop it or prevent it merely by vaccination, and I guess that’s the thing that’s so frustrating about when people don’t want to get vaccinated,” Fauci said. “We all want to be back to normal…There’s an easy pathway to that, and that is just get vaccinated.”
The Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases also clarified that, at this time, “we don’t know” if “we absolutely will need booster shots” because we don’t know the durability of protection when it comes to the vaccines.
“We may, at some time, have to get a booster shot, but we don’t know when that is, whether that’s a year or more than a year. So I think we just better be prepared for it, and that was the point that I was trying to make,” Fauci said.