UA Expert Recommends Parents Get Students COVID-19 Vaccine Before School Starts

Published: Monday, July 5, 2021 - 5:15am

A University of Arizona health expert is urging parents to add a COVID-19 vaccine to their school-supply list.

Now that schools are no longer required to mandate mask wearing, Dr. Shad Marvasti recommends parents get their children who are 12 or older vaccinated to protect them from COVID-19.

“They can get sick and I think that not being able to have kids wear masks regardless of vaccination status, I think is ethically questionable and puts our children and teachers at unnecessary risk," he said of lawmakers who passed legislation to ban K-12 schools and universities from requiring masks or vaccines. 

That’s especially important with the spread of the more transmissible delta variant, Marvasti said. 

“When you look at the data in Israel, which has decided to restart their mask mandates again, they found that half of all their cases in the last few weeks from the delta variant are actually in children who are unvaccinated," he said. 

Individuals 12 or older are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. Individuals 18 or older are eligible for the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson and Johnson vaccines. 

He advises parents to schedule vaccinations as soon as possible, since there’s a three- to four-week waiting period between the first and second dose of a Pfizer and Moderna vaccine.

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