In many parts of the country, it’s been more than a year since the majority of children attended school on site, full time. Now that roughly half the adult population has gotten at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and children as young as 16 are eligible (with that threshold expected to be lowered in the near future), many districts are inviting more kids back in. Not all parents are as comfortable with this prospect as others, of course. There are a couple of studies you should be aware in order to engage parents who may voice concerns. First, according to data just published online by JAMA Network Open, spread of infection after schools reopened in Israel was lowest among children 9 years of age and younger, leading researchers to suggest that “children in this age group do not have substantial rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection during school attendance.” Conversely, “it is probably safer to resume school attendance for youths aged 10 to 19 years only when the epidemic is under control and after implementation of steps to decrease spread in schools.” Presumably, that includes vaccination of those eligible. However, a poll conducted by Realtime Research in the U.S. reveals that only 53% of parents will consider having their children vaccinated against COVID-19 “at some point,” while 33% say they have no plans to ever bring them in for the shot. Only 26% say they’ll do so as soon as they’re eligible.
With Schools Letting More Kids on Site, Be Prepared to Engage Cautious (and Nervous) Parents