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Education

'Game Changer': Vaccine Rollout Has Oklahoma's Top Education Official Optimistic About Fall

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Flickr / Jill Carlson
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As the 2020-21 school year winds down, Oklahoma educators are already looking forward to next fall.

State schools superintendent Joy Hofmeister is optimistic for the road ahead, thanks to COVID-19 vaccines. She said vaccinations offer a clear hope that the next school year will be normal.

"We know that that has been a game changer in seeing the reduction of the spread of COVID," Hofmeister said.

Schools will still need to have 'return to learn plans' because of federal guidelines and the coronavirus hasn't left Oklahoma yet.

But Hofmeister said opening up the vaccine to children above the age of 12 already and the potential of administering it to younger children as early as this fall is a sign normality is possible.

"We think that's going to be a real game changer, and it's going to alleviate a lot of kids in quarantine," Hofmeister said. "As we know, those who are vaccinated won't need to quarantine."

Quarantines due to potential COVID-19 exposure were the primary barrier to keeping children in school as the pandemic raged in the last year.

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