KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On the same day the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave its full approval of the Pfizer vaccine, children returned to classes in Kansas City and other districts across the metro.
Kansas City Public Schools already requires that employees get vaccinated or undergo regular testing for COVID-19.
As kids returned to the classroom at African-Centered College Prep Academy, KCPS Superintendent Mark Bedell said he believes about 75-80% of his staff has been vaccinated.
He believes full FDA approval of the vaccine makes it easier for schools, health care providers and other employers to now mandate vaccinations for safer work environments.
“This virus is going to be with us for the foreseeable future, and it very well could be something that is no different than the measles, the mumps, chickenpox, all of those different things where you have to have a shot before you can enroll into school,” Bedell said. “We are going to be monitoring what’s now developing.”
Of the 6,500-7,000 students who are eligible to be vaccinated in Kansas City Public Schools, Bedell said only about 1,300 have received their shots.
The district may now require vaccinations before any student can participate in extracurricular activities.
Masks will continue to be required in Kansas City Public Schools because Bedell said masks work at preventing the spread of infection.
The district will continue to monitor guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health authorities on the issue.