In the past few weeks, we have learned that several COVID-19 vaccines have had promising clinical trial results and providing a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel. Just this week, Moderna filed paperwork with the FDA for emergency clearance after their clinical trial found the vaccine to be 94 percent effective at preventing illness.
This means that if everything goes according to plan, the first injections of Moderna’s vaccine could be given in the U.S. on December 21st. Along with promising results from Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine trials, an advisory committee from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention met this week to make recommendations on vaccine distribution and who will receive the vaccine first.
It’s easy to be optimistic that the pandemic will come to an end later in 2021. In the mean time, Dr. Fauci warns that we may see ”a surge upon a surge” of new cases, most recently fueled by. Thanksgiving gatherings and travel. At this point, it is too soon after Thanksgiving to determine the impact of the holiday and COVID-19 spread. Though Dr. Fauci warns “When you have the kind of inflection that we have, it doesn't all of a sudden turn around like that. We don't want to frighten people, but that's just the reality.”
In the same interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Dr. Fauci reiterates what many have said: ”Close the bars and keep the schools open.”
“Obviously, you don't have one size fits all,” he said. “The default position should be to try as best as possible, within reason, to keep the children in school or to get them back to school… The best way to ensure the safety of the children in school is to get the community level of the spread low.”
We have seen through this pandemic here and in other countries that reopening schools with proper precautions, especially for younger children, is not what fuels the pandemic. Fauci and other experts recommend keeping higher risk activities, such as bars where you sit indoors and maskless closed, as these have been shown to increase the spread of COVID-19.
Unfortunately, the federal government has offered minimal guidance and help leaving individual states and districts to determine when to open and close in-person learning often accompanied by pressure from teachers unions and parents.
We recognize the challenges that schools face and the importance of prioritizing in-person learning, which is why have decided to offer our QuantaSTAT for Schools app free for all accredited schools.
Until next time, stay vigilant, and let's do everything we can to stop the spread.
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