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Why some experts have an end date for masks in schools

NPR asked scientists and policy leaders across the country to find out when kids can take off their masks.

HOUSTON — Now that a COVID vaccine is available for children between the ages of 5 and 11 some parents want to know when kids can ditch the masks. The answer may seem simple, but as we head into winter cases are climbing in some states and medical professionals are concerned about another COVID surge combined with a bad flu season.

So what do the experts say?

NPR asked scientists and policy leaders across the country to find out when kids can take off their masks. Multiple experts actually gave them a date of January of 2022. According to a professor of pediatrics at Duke University that gives children enough time to be fully vaccinated. Though the experts who said January of 2022 did say they wanted schools to reach a vaccination rate around 80 percent.

But not everyone is on board with that date. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says its guidance will change when the science changes.

And a professor of global health at the University of Washington says we can’t talk about it until spring when we know whether a winter surge really materialized.

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