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Mayo doctors call for vaccines and masks before the start of school

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The countdown to a new school year is less than a month for most kids in America.  And many students who took classes at home last fall because of the pandemic will be back in school buildings now. 

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a pediatric physician at Mayo, wants to see kids 12 and older get the vaccine, which could help prevent illness in very young children, including babies.

“For all families who will be transitioning back to school in the next few weeks, getting everyone in your household who is 12 years of age and older fully vaccinated before the school year starts should be #1 on everyone’s back to school checklist this year,” says Rajapakse.”    

Also from Mayo, Dr. Gregory Poland says proper face masks should be used in school.

“A neck gaiter, no matter how it’s worn, is not a proper mask and does not offer a great deal of protection…in fact, may make things worse in some circumstances,” according to Poland.    

The doctors also warn kids not to share or trade masks at school.      

Rajapakse says infections among vaccinated people have been “rare events,” and illness from the virus is now mostly preventable because of the vaccines. 

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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