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The latest on mask wearing in schools and vaccines for children under 12

"We have to look at public health to protect everybody," says Dr. Sawyer.

SAN DIEGO — On Friday the National City School District ensured every student has a mask when they go back to school. The district gave out five masks to each student. It comes as doctors say the delta variant has changed the game, making masks more crucial for those who are unvaccinated.

"There is definitely a lot of back and forth between government agencies. They don't seem to be able to agree with each other, even CDC has reversed their course," said Sharon Mckeeman, mother of 4 and founder of "Let Them Breathe." She said there's confusion about the shifting rules around mask mandates with children. 

State officials recently decided to let local school districts decide how to deal with students who refuse to follow the state's mask mandate which has only added to the confusion.

"The majority of parents I know want a choice to unmask," said Mckeeman. 

Dr. Mark Sawyer with Rady Children's Hospital said children need to wear masks at school. 

"Yes, at school they need to wear masks or around people or at a park. They don't need to wear masks in a household," said Dr. Sawyer. 

He adds the mask requirement doesn't apply to children younger than age two.

"The parents should be the one's parenting and doing what's best for their family. The government can't seem to make a decision," said Mckeeman.

"We have to look at public health to protect everybody," said Dr. Sawyer. 

Dr. Sawyer said COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials have already started for children 12 and younger. He said the next group will be for ages 5 through 11. 

"They are even studying and planning on doing vaccine trials for those all the way down to 6 months of age," said Dr. Sawyer. 

Pfizer expects to know how its vaccine performs among kids ages 5 to 11 by the end of September. Moderna could seek FDA authorization in the winter or early next year. 

"The Delta Variant has changed the game and changed the story. The other message is we have gotten here because of unvaccinated people. It is more important than ever that people get vaccinated now or else this story will continue," said Dr. Sawyer. 

Coronavirus vaccines won't be available for children under 12 until after school starts.

The group "Let Them Breathe" has filed a lawsuit against the state of California to end the mask mandate for K-12 students. 

WATCH RELATED: Individual school districts will decide how to enforce California's mask guidance in classrooms (July 2021)

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