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Teens Can Get Vaccinated: Johns Hopkins Experts Available on What This Means for Schools

 May 11, 2021
CONTACT: Jill Rosen
Cell: 443-547-8805
jrosen@jhu.edu jhunews@jhu.edu

People as young as 12 can now get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, as early as this week, now that the  Food and Drug Administration authorized the use. Experts with Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Safe and Healthy Schools, which has been studying the complex question of what it will take for the nation to safely return students to school, are available for perspective and commentary.

Available experts will include:

Annette C. Anderson, deputy director of the Center for Safe and Healthy Schools. Anderson, who is a professor in the School of Education, is also a former teacher and principal. She was part of the team that launched the university’s School Reopening Policy Tracker last year.

Anderson says: “While I welcome the opportunity for more students to be vaccinated, let us understand that there is still a sizable portion of families who have adopted a wait and see approach to returning to in person learning. We will probably see more school aged students be vaccinated over the summer and more students in classrooms next fall. Nevertheless the group of parents who remain hesitant about the return to school may still choose to remain remote next year. Parents, especially families of color, still want options.”

Odis Johnson, executive director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Safe and Healthy Schools, an a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of social policy and STEM equity. He is a leading researcher of social inequity in America.

Johnson says: “What I think families should keep in mind is that many kids have the same underlying conditions that adults have that increase their odds of hospitalization and death, including obesity, diabetes, and asthma. To keep all kids safer, policymakers and school leaders should strive for 100 percent vaccination of students that will attend high schools in the fall. This will require continuous engagement with families who are reluctant to get vaccinated, and to dispel an unfortunately pervasive myth that kids are resistant to COVID-19 related illnesses.”

To reach an expert, please contact Jill Rosen, jrosen@jhu.edu.

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