Article adapted by the recent Third Floor Views podcast “COVID and Vaccinations for Kids, Everything You Want to Know.” Listen to it here
Trust the scientists and the facts behind the COVID vaccine, and what it means for your kids this summer and beyond. Chesapeake Family Life Podcast Third Floor Views host, Janet Jefferson, sat down with Dr. Margaret Turner and Dr. Katherine Edwards from Annapolis Pediatrics to get the most recent and up to date information about vaccinating children and adolescents. Both doctors supported the idea that the vaccine will allow for this to be a “summer of socialization for all ages.”
Currently, the youngest approved age to vaccinate is 12 years old. It is unclear if younger ages (down to six months of age) will be approved for the vaccine before the new school year starts this fall but over the age of 12 is approved and good to go.
· CDC states that once you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.
· If you are traveling in the United States, you do not need testing before or after travel, and there is no need for self-quarantine if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
· For those under the age of 12 who are not vaccinated but are with adults who are vaccinated, their risk of contracting the disease is almost zero. This is due the fact that the under 12 age group has not been a significant source of infections and the incidence rate has been low.
· Mask wearing is recommended when indoors (and in some places like a doctor’s office, still mandatory) but when outside, there’s virtually no transmission of the disease.
What about socializing with other kids?
Now we know the vaccine is safe and an important step to ending the pandemic. But what does that mean for summertime activities like going to the pool, taking a vacation at the beach, or having a backyard barbeque? Both Dr. Turner and Dr. Edwards say “yes” to all of them. They say children need to go to camp, they need to be off of their devices and not have a virtual anything. We have all been isolated for so long that children and adults alike have forgotten a lot of social skills, or never even learned any if they are two years old and under.
Dr. Turner thinks everyone should “dip their toe into whatever pond they’re most comfortable with” when it comes to socialization and resuming activities. Dr. Edwards agrees by saying that different people will have different levels of comfort taking off their masks or engaging in social contact but they both strongly recommend that everyone, especially children, get outside this summer and get off their screens for a happy and healthier summer.