Former FDA Commissioner Hints at Expanded Vaccine Approval Soon

School has been back in session for at least a week now across Northern Michigan and with the return to classrooms, has come an uptick in COVID-19 outbreaks in schools.

But more vaccine access may be on the way sooner than believed.

“It’s not a super shield, we know that, but it’s another layer of mitigation that’s available,” said Jeff Mount, superintendent of Mason County Central schools.School Outbreaks Pkg 9 13 2100 00 14 15still001

Mason County Central based their masking policy on the fact that anybody 12-and-up could get the vaccine against COVID-19.

That means kindergarten through fifth grade wear masks and older students don’t have to. It was a hybrid plan met with mixed results.

“If you don’t like masks at all, it doesn’t matter what age you are,” said Mount.

Now they may be changing their plan soon. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner and current Pfizer board member hinted an expansion of vaccine access may be imminent.

“You could potentially have a vaccine available to children 5-to-11 by Halloween,” Gottlieb said.

That’s good news for districts basing their plans on that access.

“It is coming faster than what was even projected a long time ago,” said Mount.

For the spartans, they planned for this.

“Our policy currently states that upon six weeks after that being available for our 5-to-11 year old’s, then we will be able to revert back to masks optional at that point,” said Mount.

Mount says they won’t be asking who is vaccinated and who isn’t but having the ability and choice is enough for the district. However, he reminds parents that it will still be a local decision, even if the FDA expands access.

“Other circumstances could change that,” Said Mount, “We could have an explosion of cases and we’d have to revert back to some stronger mitigation measures.

Or, Mount says it can go the other way, and a vast improvement may lift the hybrid mandate early.

Categories: Coronavirus