COLUMBUS, Ohio — As many parents become vaccinated, what kind of risk do they run around their unvaccinated children?
Dr. Anup Kanodia of OhioHealth and Kanodiamd says children have an astronomically lower chance of dying of COVID-19 compared to older adults, so the risk of transmission remains low. But he stresses now is not the time to return back to a normal lifestyle.
“We are taking huge steps forward in terms of herd immunity, in terms of people vaccinated now have a lot less chance of it, and if they do have COVID it will be a lot less severe,” said Kanodia. “Kids, we know that even if they get COVID it will be a lot less severe, less hospitalizations and less severe illnesses. So I think there are things that parents and kids can interact and do things in safe ways.”
He says the CDC guidelines allow vaccinated parents and grandparents to be around children without masks, but as for vacations, restaurants and playdates, Kanodia recommends staying outdoors or masks should be worn while indoors.
“We want to make sure we are going to mitigate the risk, but we also want our kids reintegrating in society, whether it’s the school system, whether it’s these outdoors activities, etc.,” said Kanodia.
The CDC has just released guidelines for opening summer camps, which were unable to open last year. Overnight camps should ask everyone to be fully vaccinated, including campers if eligible. Another option would be to self-quarantine two weeks ahead of arrival and show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
Kanodia says vaccine studies for children 12 and older may be available by September. He is hosting a webinar session to answer questions about COVID-19 concerns and ways of getting back to normal following the pandemic. It’s happening Friday at 2 p.m. and is free, but to reserve a spot registration is required.