Vaccs & Masks

Aug. 4, 2021.  We’re continuing to learn and may even be weary about COVID.  Because scientists must publish the bad and the ugly as well as the good; the learning at times is understandably challenging.

It helps to focus on what we know and don’t yet know.  We know that viruses need a host animal to replicate.  We humans are the host and the means of COVID transmission to others.  We know that viruses eventually mutate as more "hosts" become infected.  Because of the potential for a newly developing variant to be resistant to current vaccines, scientists have urged all of us who are eligible to seek COVID vaccinations in order to achieve the elusive herd immunity (ie, to give circulating viruses far fewer hosts to potentially infect).  Now that we've recently learned that the delta variant can be transmitted from fully vaccinated persons, we know that the current scope of risks has changed.  We don’t know how well current vaccines (developed for last year's emerging alpha variant) may protect those with weakened immune systems or how long we’ll be protected.  Individuals not yet eligible, with other risk factors, medically unable to be vaccinated, or hesitant will all be at higher risk. 

Last year, students, families, and school staff all worked hard to provide as safe an environment as possible in HPS schools.  Time-honored public health strategies were employed to mitigate the spread of the virus.  While none of these strategies alone is 100% effective, the combination of all strategies, greatly reduced the risk of transmission and allowed HPS schools to fully reopen their doors to in-person learning in the spring.

While we continue to monitor the continuing evolution of this pandemic, we invite families to read the resources linked below (many have been posted in previous updates but are well-worth reviewing at this time).  We are grateful for the continued efforts and support of the HPS Community.

MA DPH Trust the Facts Get the Vax  

MA DPH "Vax Finder" Site

Pfizer Vaccine Overview (FDA EUA for individuals age 12 and over)

How mRNA Vaccines Work (short video)

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Vaccine Education Center

CDC When Fully Vaccinated

American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations

CDC Recommendations