By CBS13 Staff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci predicts that students as young as first grade may be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine by September, according to a report from ProPublica on Thursday.

Dr. Fauci’s prediction comes as schools have already begun to at least start the next academic year continuing with distance learning plans.

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Young people are at the very bottom of California’s vaccine rollout plan. Further, the COVID-19 vaccines that have already been developed are – for the moment – only authorized for use in people ages 16 and older.

But, Dr. Fauci noted in the interview that clinical trials for the use of the coronavirus vaccines in children are already in the process of starting.

“We’re in the process of starting clinical trials in what we call age de-escalation, where you do a clinical trial with people 16 to 12, then 12 to 9, then 9 to 6,” Dr. Fauci said.

It has been almost a year since California students moved to online learning due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reportedly set to release new guidance on Friday about how schools can safely reopen.

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Teachers unions have already started pushing back against plans to rush into reopening schools.

On Thursday, the Sacramento City Teachers Association released a five-point framework they say needs to happen for students to be brought back into the classroom – with all staff having the opportunity to be vaccinated at the top of the list.

Still, California is only in Phase 1A and 1B in its vaccination rollout plan. This means that healthcare workers and long-term care residents have priority in the vaccine line.

The state expanded vaccine access to anyone over the age of 65 and certain sectors (education, childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture), but only as supplies allow.

Phase 1C, where people 50-64 years old and people 16-49 with underlying conditions can be vaccinated, is expected to start in spring.

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No firm dates have been given yet on when COVID-19 vaccinations will be available to everyone else.