COVID

Video: Ashish Jha says ‘terrific’ summer is ahead if vaccinations keep up

“I feel pretty comfortable saying the next few months should be even better than they are now.”

Dr. Ashish Jha is feeling optimistic about the battle against COVID-19 in the coming months. 

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The dean of the Brown University School of Public Health told MSNBC about his outlook on Monday, speaking about the summer season and his perspective on more schools announcing the phasing out of remote learning for the start of the new academic year in September.

“I feel pretty comfortable saying the next few months should be even better than they are now,” Jha said. “We do still have to keep going on vaccinations. There are areas I can point to that provide some concern, but let’s look at the big picture. The big picture is even on May 1 we were generating 50,000 new infections. Three weeks later we’re down to 23,000 — that number is going to keep coming down. As long as we can keep vaccinating, we’re going to have a terrific summer ahead.”

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The doctor said one of the best ways to keep protecting kids who are too young to get vaccinated as the pandemic goes on is by adults continuing to get inoculated. But Jha said he is hopeful that at some point in the fall, a vaccine will be approved for kids under the age of 12. 

Those two paths, combined with schools improving ventilation and masking, means schools should be able to resume in-person learning in the fall. 

“There really is zero reason to be in remote schools this fall,” Jha said. “Everybody should be able to get back in quite safely.”

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