All students in schools across the country are expected to be back in class by autumn, said the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday.
“We must anticipate, in September 2021, that schools must be completed in person and all of our children back in the classroom,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the federal agency, told ABC News.
Teachers, students and their parents should be prepared to say goodbye to distance 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 is a lot we can do,” Walensky told the agency.
Children over 12 must be eligible for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine by mid-May, pending authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for that age group, she added.
Walensky said he expects Moderna’s coronavirus injection to take place soon, meaning there may be two vaccines approved for children 12 and older by the summer.
However, she anticipated that there would probably be no inoculation for children under 12 before the end of the year.
The comments came after Walensky announced during a meeting at the White House that the highly contagious variant of the UK coronavirus has become the dominant strain in the country.
The three vaccines authorized in the USA – Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – are believed to work against variant B117.
Walensky emphasized to ABC that the strains of COVID-19 that spread across the United States are reinforcing its goal of inoculating a large part of the population.
“My goal is to make people want to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated,” she said.