KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Before heading back to school, Liz Benditt vaccinated her two teenagers.
"They got so much more out of school when they were in-person—socially, emotionally, every way possible it was more important for them to be in-school, in-person full-time," Benditt said. "I’m concerned that they are still going to get a breakthrough infection, but I’m not concerned that it's going to give them long-term health problems.”
However, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment is asking other parents in the area to do the same.
“We need to do all we can to promote vaccinations and prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the community,” said Charlie Hunt, JCDHE deputy director.
Releasing recommendations on Friday, July 16, JCDHE is asking school districts in the county to: promote vaccinations, require indoor mask wearing for those who aren't vaccinated and exclude persons with suspected, confirmed and close contact of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
The American Academy of Pediatrics released their own new set of recommendations this morning, stating anyone two years of age or older should wear a mask in school no matter their vaccination status.
“Universal masking may actually be easier because everybody stays masked and the schools aren't responsible for saying yes, you've been vaccinated or no, you haven't been vaccinated, and really universal masking protects the children and the adults,” Children’s Mercy Kansas City Pediatrics Physician of Infectious Diseases, Dr. Jennifer Schuster, said.
However, as recommendations constantly change, Dr. Schuster advises parents to speak to their child's pediatrician or their primary care provider to figure out what's best for their families before the fall.