Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that vaccinated adults should still keep their children in masks while they are playing with other children.
“When the children go out into the community, you want them to continue to wear masks when they’re interacting with groups or multiple households,” Fauci said during a Sunday appearance on Face the Nation.
Children ages 5-17 are less likely to spread the virus and when they do, those children experience a higher degree of asymptomatic infection and are less likely to experience severe illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Meanwhile, children have paid a heavy price for the lockdowns and isolation mandated by policymakers. Studies have shown that restrictive policies have increased childhood obesity, widened the achievement gap between rich and poor students, and increased feelings of anxiety and depression among children.
But Fauci has continued to urge caution among parents, even those who have already been vaccinated, as children are not yet eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.
While Fauci said it is “conceivable” that children could return to camps and interact on playgrounds this summer, they could still spread the virus.
“The children can clearly wind up getting infected,” Fauci said of children playing in groups.
If vaccination levels continue at the current pace, Fauci expressed confidence that children would have a “good degree of flexibility during the summer … with things like camps.”
“We now have 3 million to 3.5 million vaccinations each day. If we keep up with that pace, invariably, that’s going to drive the rate and the level of infections per day to a much much lower level,” Fauci said.