With the news that Pfizer’s vaccine is 100 percent effective in 12- to 15-year-old children, and the vaccine already approved for ages 16 and up, a return to “normal” school may be on the horizon.
Pfizer recently completed its clinical trial in the 12-15 age group and is hoping to get the vaccine approved for that group as soon as possible, in time for inoculations to take place before the start of the next school year.
Most teachers have had at least one shot already, and some Hull High School upperclassmen who are 16 and older have been vaccinated as well. However, much of the school population is not eligible for a vaccine yet due to age, making the results of the trial weighty.
All HHS students will be returning to school after April break, closing out a hectic school year with a semblance of normalcy.
Reactions from student leaders who will be at HHS next year are mixed.
Sophomore class president Sasha Green said, “I don’t think it will affect school too much.” But, he added, “If this makes people feel safer to come back, like the kids doing Pirate Academy, I think that’s great.”
Junior class president Grace Grosso thinks “everything will be almost fine by the fall, especially since we are all going back in two weeks and the vaccine is working in teens. I don’t see why we wouldn’t resume with school and normal activities.”
Ruby Schultz, the freshman class president, told the Times that “the news for the highly effective vaccine is great news for schools because it means that we are getting closer to COVID-free schooling. … School in the fall will most likely be safer now as well, with more teachers and, hopefully, students vaccinated.”
Though the promise of student vaccinations by fall and a normal start to the 2021-2022 school year sound promising, there’s still a long way to go. The data will need to be reviewed by the Federal Drug Administration before the vaccine is approved for use in adolescents, and that may take a while.