When the CDC on Thursday announced in most settings, fully vaccinated, people can safely take off their masks. One group that did not get relief was parents of young children. Some said that the CDC’s new guidance does not have any specific advice for vaccinated parents with unvaccinated kids in their households.
Covid risks for children –
While adolescents and children who get infected by Covid tend to have less severe cases of Covid, they get sick and spread the virus to others. Serious complications have developed by some children from the disease. It is a rare but serious medical condition associated with Covid Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). There are also long-term effects of Covid like stomach problems, respiratory issues, fatigue for some children who get Covid.
As of this week, the Pfizer vaccine is available to people 12 and above. That means kids age 12-15 who get their first Pfizer vaccine dose will now be fully vaccinated in about two-five weeks after receiving their second dose. Once they are fully immunized in most settings, they can remove their mask, according to CDC. But state and local laws apply, as do school and business policies. Mask will still be required for planes, buses, trains, and at airports and stations.
For kids below 12 currently, no vaccine is available in the U.S. This means they have to use masks for the long term. The CDC said all unvaccinated kids age two and older “should wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household.” Experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics say unvaccinated kids and older people should wear masks indoors.
Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, chair of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, said in a statement, “We know children over age two can safely wear masks to protect themselves and others from transmitting the COVID-19 virus. We’ve already seen how the masks have helped prevent the spread of respiratory infections within schools, camps, and other community settings, particularly when everyone wears them, washes hands, and follows other infection control guidance.”
All three makers of U.S.-authorized vaccines are currently studying the effectiveness and safety of their vaccine in children, including six months old.