Doctor: Back-to-school preparations for kids should involve considering Covid vaccine

With September around the corner, it is time to go back to school.

"I’m excited -  I feel like this is a big year class of 2023," said Amaia Gooden, a senior at The School at Marygrove.

But as she and her mother prepare for back-to-school shopping, her mom is concerned about more than academics.

"They are focusing on academics however we still should be considering the pandemic," said Wanda Gooden. "Because numbers begin to rise during this time as we have seen in the past."

State officials in Lansing and with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services say being vaccinated helps with making a safe return for students at schools and college campuses.

"The vaccine is our single most Important tool," said Dr. Annette Mercatante, The Public Health Advisory Council, State of Michigan. "We would like for everyone to get updated on all their vaccines because we have fallen behind during Covid."

As many districts loosen Covid protocols from requirements to recommendations for things like mask-wearing, doctors make it clear that parents should monitor their kids and use home testing to prevent the spread.

"Most importantly if you are sick, stay home and use that testing mechanism to know if it’s allergies, Covid or flu," Mercatante said.

You should also be aware of updates and guidance from your local health department.

"Local health departments are your friend and we want them to work closely with schools to know what’s right for what’s happening right then in the community," she added.

As schools and parents decide how best to keep students safe some admit it would be great if there were one plan for all.

"We all have to understand there are different levels of risk for different people and different situations so sometimes a more aggressive approach is valid," she said.

State officials are continuing to monitor the risk for Monkeypox in schools and say the risk is very low.

And as medical experts continue to promote vaccines, they also make it clear that staying home when sick is effective also.

"It’s even more important to not go to school so if there is a fever or rash even more important to stay home," she said.