In July, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) addressed both vaccinations and masks. A piece by Melissa Jenco notes that, since the COVID-19 pandemic began, over four million American children are known to have been infected. While only 346 have died, there is also Long COVID to consider. How many cumulative years of a young life will be lived under the shadow of that misery?
And things are heating up. In late July, when Jenco wrote her article, 16% of the previous week’s new cases were children.
Four universities — Northeastern, Harvard, Rutgers, and Northwestern — teamed up to get a handle on the topic, and interviewed many thousands of adults during the summer. Their public surveys established that the idea of vaccinating kids, at least the older ones, is becoming more accepted. Mothers of young children have not yet changed their opinions very much.
Last winter, 54% of adults were in favor of requiring that public school kids be vaccinated, and that number grew to 61% this summer. Twice as many Democrats as Republicans are in favor of this measure. Compared to Democrats, more than four times as many Republicans resist vaccinating their own children.
Support for a school vaccination mandate is higher among city folk with more education and higher incomes. The racial breakdown shows that Asian Americans are most supportive. Wearing protective masks seems to be more acceptable, too. Even Asian Americans who were born here, or moved here young and never visited their places of origin, are exposed to media from their ancestral countries, where masking is taken for granted where there is a deep cultural tradition.
For the Los Angeles Times, Andrew J. Kampa wrote,
Raised on an ethic that elevates family and community above the individual, as well as a strong belief in science, many find it difficult to fathom why anyone would view masks as an infringement on personal freedom…
The AAP expressed a desire to return to in-person learning, urging every eligible person to be vaccinated, and for schools to use “layers of protection that include masks for everyone 2 years and older.”
Then, the institution spoke again, urging everyone in schools to mask up regardless of their vaccination status, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This might be necessary to repeat again and again, because some people act as if it is an either/or proposition, either get vaccinated or wear a protective mask, but no. The Delta variant of COVID-19 commands us to do both, especially since even fully vaccinated people can spread the disease to others.
Vaccination is recommended for all people from 12 years old on up (minus the obvious and frequently repeated exceptions) even if they have already caught and recovered from some version of the virus. Bottom line,
The CDC recommends indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.
Your responses and feedback are welcome!
Source: “Survey: Support of school COVID-19 vaccine mandates growing, resistance to vaccinating children shrinking,” AAPPublications.org, 07/20/21
Source: “Some Asian Americans and immigrants wore masks readily,” LATimes.com, 12/26/20
Source: “CDC says delta variant easily transmissible, recommends universal masking in school,” AAPPublications.org, 07/27/21
Image by Bertrand Fan/Public Domain