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The state of the global coronavirus pandemic should be easing up such that things should be much better by this fall, including a school year that at least begins to look more familiar, according to a physician who’s a noted expert in vaccinology.
The United States has seen more than 30 million reported cases of COVID-19, including more than 500,000 dead from the illness.
However, in recent weeks, under the new administration of President Biden, the federal government’s taken more active steps to stem the spread of the virus, including vaccinations that have hit as high as 3.5 million people on a single day.
“Well, I think things are going to be a lot easier starting in the fall than they’ve been for the last year. And for a couple of reasons,” said Dr Peter Hotez, director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital, among other positions he holds. “First of all, I think teachers and staff will be fully vaccinated and the parents by the fall. I think we’ll probably have the data to start vaccinating adolescents, so that junior high schools, middle schools, high schools could have pretty much everybody fully vaccinated by the fall. I think that’s within the realm of possibility. I doubt we’re going to have the data for the little kid yet to support vaccinating younger kids. So we’ll still have a bit of a rocky road in the elementary schools by 2022. Next year, I think we’ll vaccinate the younger kids.
“But no question, things are going to be so much better for the fall school year. So I think, yes, we can have a good fall school year, but we’ve got to dramatically lower transmission in this country,” Dr Hotez added. “And with that b-117 variant, that is more transmissible, and which is going to be the dominant variant in the U.S. for the foreseeable future, and the fact that it’s higher lethality, higher morbidity and hospitalizations, and it’s affecting younger groups now. We’re starting to see in the upper Midwest now, a lot of young adults going into hospitals and ICUs. So, we’ve got to get that under control. Until we do that, we really can’t even talk about much of anything.”
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