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Omicron Data Supports Resuming In-person Education in the New Year: A Statement from PolicyLab at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA – December 31, 2021 – Throughout the pandemic, PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has carefully followed the emerging science on COVID-19 infection and offered guidance to schools throughout the region. With rising anxiety about the omicron variant that is swiftly moving across our communities, we affirm that in contrast to last year, when many community members were unvaccinated, this new variant has been milder than earlier COVID-19 strains for most children, and is occurring during a time when all K-12 students and their caregivers have been offered vaccination. The omicron variant is also particularly less virulent for those who have been vaccinated. We advise school leaders to consider this emerging data so that children can resume in-person education in the new year, so long as schools are able to staff their campuses for returning students. In the interim, we encourage staff who have not received boosters to obtain them, and for families who have not yet vaccinated their children to do the same. 


About PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is dedicated to achieving optimal child health and well-being by informing program and policy changes through interdisciplinary research. Founded in 2008, PolicyLab is a Center of Emphasis within the CHOP Research Institute, one of the largest pediatric research institutes in the country. With more than 35 highly-regarded faculty and 60 passionate staff who bring expertise from myriad of fields covering health, research and health policy, our work focuses on improving public systems, improving health care delivery and improving child health outcomes. For more information, visit