The American Academy of Pediatrics issued new guidance for the 2021-22 school year on Monday “strongly recommending” COVID-19 vaccination for anyone who is eligible, as well as continued use of face masks. for all students, teachers and staff.

“As the next school year begins, there is a need to continue to focus on keeping students safe, as not all students have the opportunity or eligibility to be immunized before the start of the next school year. follow,” the AAP guidance states.

The group of pediatricians says face-to-face learning can be done safely and says the benefits of face-to-face learning outweigh the risks “in most cases”.

“Distance learning highlights educational inequalities, harms the educational attainment of students of all ages, and exacerbates the mental health crisis among children,” the group said. and teenagers.

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To make face-to-face learning as safe as possible, the APP recommends everyone who is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The group also said everyone over the age of two should continue to wear a mask at school, regardless of vaccination status.

“Universal masking is the best and most effective strategy for creating consistent messages, expectations, enforcement and compliance without the added burden of monitoring injection status,” says AAP. strains.

The AAP also recommends that parents make sure their children are vaccinated with all vaccines before starting school, including the flu shot.

“The last thing we want out of this pandemic is an outbreak of another vaccine-preventable disease,” said Dr Sonja O’Leary, chair of the AAP Council on School Health. said. “Now is the time for all of us to work together to keep our kids healthy and safe. Your pediatrician can help families with any questions or concerns about returning to class. ”

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The AAP said it is “amplifying” recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month about building ventilation, testing, isolation, cleaning and disinfection systems in schools. .

The CDC is recommending that schools maintain a physical distance of 3 feet between students in class, but at this time only recommends wearing masks indoors for those who are not immunized.

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