Rory Devine

Must Vaccinated Students Wear Masks at School?

If so, how long could this last? Could guidance change?

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How long will students who have been vaccinated need to wear masks? Students are wondering.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state of California agree, for now, students should wear masks.

“It will be interesting to see what we will do in the fall,” said Doctor Howard Taras, a UC San Diego pediatrician and professor who is among those advising school districts about the virus. He said if the case rates in the community are very low and vaccination rates in schools are very high, masks become less important because there are fewer people to contaminate one another.

The issue of mask wearing is complicated: The CDC says one thing, the state says another, but when it comes to the issue of whether students should wear masks in school, they're both on the same page, reports NBC 7's Rory Devine

“Those are very big ifs. We don't know what the vaccination rates are, even among teachers let alone students, and we have to hope that the case rates are as low or lower than they are now; but knowing those two things could change the equation.

Parent Laurent Haywood said his son who has received the fist dose of the vaccine is fine with wearing a mask.

"I am comfortable with school requiring it until the end of the school year, maybe re-evaluate at the end of the summer, August time, but for now I’m perfectly fine with kids wearing masks just like that have been, vaccinated or not," Haywood said.

Meantime, those under the age of 12, cannot get vaccinated, and likely will be wearing masks for a while.

“It will take a while. I’m saying probably later on in the school year would be the earliest,” said Dr. Taras. "Later on," could be January of 2022, Taras said.

And while this younger group may not show signs of the disease, they still can be carriers, according to the doctor.

“So, it would be nice to make sure that even if not all younger children are vaccinated, if a great majority of the younger children are vaccinated, that would put adults who cannot be vaccinated in a much safer place.”

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