Is it safe to travel with unvaccinated children? – WHSV - WHSV

Is it safe to travel with unvaccinated children? – WHSV - WHSV

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WHSV) — As more people are getting vaccinated, they may be looking to plan a family vacation this summer. But is it safe to travel if your children have not gotten the shot yet?

Dr. Bill Petri is an infectious disease professor at UVA, and he says yes. Adults who are vaccinated can feel safe when traveling with unvaccinated children, but it’s still important to wear masks, practice social distancing and wash your hands.

“You’re not invulnerable. As wonderful as the vaccines are, it’s still important to do these common sense things,” Dr. Petri said. “Airplanes are relatively safe because the air exchanges so rapidly, so I wouldn’t put a prohibition on traveling by an airplane if you as an adult are vaccinated and your child is not.”

He adds that it’s also a good idea to bring sanitizing wipes with you on your trip to wipe down and disinfect high-touch surfaces.

“It’s still not a good idea to be in a public place, indoors without a mask on,” Dr. Petri said.

He noted that children are far less susceptible to severe disease and are less likely to transmit the virus to other people than adults are, but that doesn’t mean they are not at risk at all.

“There is this multi-system inflammatory disorder that children can get with COVID-19. We don’t know the long-term consequences of having COVID-19 in adults or in children,” Dr. Petri said. “Rarely there have been children that have died from COVID-19, so it makes sense to have common sense precautions.”

Children between the ages of 12 and 18 are expected to be eligible for vaccines by this summer.

“Children from 6 months of age to 11 years of age probably we’re talking November, December or January for them to be vaccinated,” Dr. Petri said.

As more people get vaccinated and the number of COVID-19 cases goes down, Dr. Petri anticipates being able to further relax restrictions by summer.

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