Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said that it would be “optimal” for all teachers to be vaccinated before opening schools — but insisted that it was not necessary.
Fauci said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s school-reopening guide involved a “lot of layering to the mitigations” to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.
“Part of that is to indicate and suggest strongly that a preference be given to teachers to get vaccinated so vaccinating teachers are part of it,” Fauci told ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week,” adding that it’s not essential.
“It’s not something that you can’t open a school unless all of the teachers are vaccinated.”
The Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that vaccines being available to teachers would be “optimal,” but it’s more important to prioritize students returning to class.
“Practically speaking when you balance the benefit of getting the children back to school with the fact that the risks are being mitigated if you follow the recommendations of the new guidelines from the CDC, hopefully that will alleviate the concerns on both sides,” Fauci said.
But Fauci admitted that “schools really do need more resources” to open again.
“I think it can be done. Obviously, it’s not a perfect situation but it’s really important to get the children back to school in a safe of a way as possible — safe for the children but also safe for the teachers and other educators,” Fauci said.
The CDC on Friday released a 33-page guidance on how to welcome students back to classrooms, with different advice for elementary, middle and high schools.
“We’ve used stronger languages than prior guidance. We’ve been much more prescriptive here as to putting some guardrails on what can and should be done to get to a safe reopening,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC’s director, told reporters.
Walensky said that vaccinating teachers “an additional layer of protection,” but the guidelines emphasized other basic public health recommendations.
“We know that most clusters in the school setting have occurred when there are breaches in mask wearing,” Walensky said.
With Post Wires