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CDC says schools should continue masking, distancing to keep kids safe

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An elementary student completes a worksheet while wearing a mask.

MADISON (WKOW) -- The Centers for Disease Control said last week it is now safe for people who are fully-vaccinated to not wear masks. However, the agency isn't extending that guidance to schools.

"We will not be changing our guidance for the end of the school year," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Sunday morning on CNN. "Most kids will not be vaccinated or fully vaccinated before the end of this year."

At this point, the FDA has only authorized the vaccine for children who are at least 12-years-old. In addition to the children who aren't old enough to get vaccinated yet, even kids who get the shot soon will not be fully vaccinated by the end of the school year.

The Pfizer shot requires a three-week buffer in between doses and it takes another two weeks after the final shot for people to gain full protection.

Walensky said that means schools should keep their COVID-19 precautions in place to keep students healthy. The CDC's current guidelines call for everyone at schools to wear masks and stay distanced.

However, as more children gain eligibility and vaccination rates rise, Walensky said the agency's recommendations could change soon.

"We're going to work on updating our school guidance," she said.

Walensky said she's also hopeful more children will be eligible for the vaccine by the end of the year.

Pfizer and Moderna are both currently running trials for their vaccines in children as young as 6-months-old.

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Caroline Dade

Weekend Evening Anchor/Reporter, 27 News

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