Parents still divided over school Covid masking rules



Washington -As public schools around the United States lift COVID-19 mask mandates, parents are divided over the issue, with nearly 43% saying face-covering requirements should remain in place to prevent virus transmission, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

Most parents who responded also expressed concern about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines for children under age 5, saying they do not have enough information, according to the KFF survey of 1,502 adults conducted between February 9 and 21.

Support for masks in schools has been falling since September when two-thirds of people and over 60% of parents favoured some level of mask re-quirements, KFF said.

On Friday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention drastically eased its guidelines for when people should wear masks indoors, including in schools.

About 72% of the US population now reside in communities where indoor face coverings are no longer recommended under the new CDC guidelines.

Earlier this month, the US Food and Drug Ad-ministration postponed its review of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children under five, saying it needed more time to review new data.

The survey found that ahead of any FDA deci-sion, nearly two-thirds of parents said they are not confident about the safety of existing shots for chil-dren under the age of five.

The report shows that overall US COVID-19 vaccine uptake in February remained relatively un-changed from January.

About 25% of US adults were still unvaccinated including one-in-six who say they will “definitely not” get vaccinated, the report found.

With US mid-term elections approaching in No-vember and COVID numbers falling nationwide, the pandemic was no longer among the top-four issues of most concern for registered voters, the survey found.—Reuters


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