There may be good news coming for children and the COVID-19 vaccine in the fall.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says he is optimistic that kids under the age of 12 will be able to get the vaccine by Thanksgiving.
"We are now doing studies that are ongoing as we're speaking, studies that are looking at what we call age de-escalation, children from 12 to 9 and then 9 to 6 and then 6 to 2 and then 6 months to 2 years," the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told CNN.
Adding, "We hope that as we approach the end of this calendar year, we'll have enough information to vaccinate children of any age. So, I'm cautiously optimistic we might be there by the end of the year."
This is welcome news for families with young children as the vaccines are currently only available to kids 12 and up, which has left families with younger kids in a state of limbo unsure of what is considered safe and what is still risky to do. (Find out what activities medical experts think unvaccinated kids can likely do safely and what they should still avoid.)
Looking ahead to the fall school year, does Dr. Fauci think children will need to continue to wear masks as they return to the classroom? The infectious disease expert says it depends on the level of virus in each community and if high levels are high that masks will need to be worn.
The CDC notes a county is considered to have "high" transmission if there have been 100 or more cases of the virus per 100,000 residents or if there is a test positivity rate of 10 percent or higher in the past 7 days.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky says she believes the mask guidance will change as more young people receive the vaccine. She explained further on Good Morning America, sharing, "We've said through the school year of '20 to '21 that our school guidance was not going to change. What we really are doing now is looking at the evidence in the context of so many people getting vaccinated, in the context of disease rates coming down in certain communities, and really looking at the evidence now. As we're starting to get those people vaccinated, we will be revisiting this in our school guidance."
The Doctors encourage any adult or young person 12 and up who has not got their vaccine yet to take the time to get your shot. It's simple, easy, and free! Find a location near you at vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233.