What CDC’s Mask Guidance Means For Unvaccinated Kids And Their Parents : Coronavirus Updates : NPR

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A woman and her father put on facemasks whereas they push their bikes final summer season in Hermosa Beach, Los Angeles. There aren’t but coronavirus vaccines accepted within the U.S. for teenagers beneath 12 — which suggests they need to hold masking, in line with the CDC.

Apu Gomes/AFP by way of Getty Images

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Apu Gomes/AFP by way of Getty Images

A woman and her father put on facemasks whereas they push their bikes final summer season in Hermosa Beach, Los Angeles. There aren’t but coronavirus vaccines accepted within the U.S. for teenagers beneath 12 — which suggests they need to hold masking, in line with the CDC.

Apu Gomes/AFP by way of Getty Images

When the CDC introduced on Thursday that absolutely vaccinated individuals can safely take off their masks in most settings, one group that didn’t essentially breathe a sigh of reduction was the dad and mom of younger kids.

Some famous that the CDC’s new steerage doesn’t have any particular recommendation for vaccinated dad and mom with unvaccinated children of their households.

So we dug into the present steerage for teenagers and fogeys, and talked with an infection prevention knowledgeable Dr. Emily Landon in regards to the dangers – and the way her household is dealing with this difficult limbo.

What are the COVID-19 dangers for teenagers?

While kids and adolescents who get contaminated by the coronavirus are inclined to have much less extreme instances of COVID-19, they’ll get sick they usually can unfold the virus to others. And some kids have developed critical issues from the illness, together with a uncommon however critical medical situation related to COVID-19 referred to as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C).

There are additionally rising issues about persistent, long-term results of the viral an infection — akin to fatigue, respiratory points and abdomen issues — for some kids who get COVID-19.

So what is the masks steerage now for adolescents aged 12 and up?

As of this week, the Pfizer vaccine is offered to individuals age 12 and up. (The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are at present accepted just for these 18 and older.) That means children age 12-15 who get their first Pfizer vaccine dose now can be absolutely vaccinated in about 5 weeks – two weeks after they obtain their second dose.

Once they’re absolutely vaccinated, the CDC says it is protected for them to take away their masks in most settings, similar to absolutely vaccinated adults. But state and native legal guidelines apply, as do faculty and enterprise insurance policies. And masks will nonetheless be required for all on buses, trains and planes, and at stations and airports.

What about children beneath 12?

There are not any vaccines at present accepted for his or her use within the U.S. – which suggests the youthful set have to hold masking in the meanwhile.

The CDC says all unvaccinated individuals age 2 and older “should wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household.”

Experts on the American Academy of Pediatrics advocate unvaccinated kids 2 and older proceed to put on masks round others when indoors, particularly when they’re amongst at-risk adults akin to those that are immunocompromised or over 65.

“We know children over age 2 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,” Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, chair of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, mentioned in an announcement.

All three makers of U.S.-authorized vaccines are at present learning the security and effectiveness of their vaccines in kids, together with as younger as 6 months.

But it would probably be not less than just a few extra months till there is a vaccine accepted for these beneath 12. Pfizer says it will not be able to ask for FDA approval for its COVID-19 vaccine in youthful children till September.

I’m absolutely vaccinated, however my children aren’t. Can I safely take off my masks in most locations?

According to the CDC’s steerage, the reply is sure.

In its up to date steerage for absolutely vaccinated individuals, the CDC would not listing an exception for folks with unvaccinated kids of their family. (People with immunocompromising circumstances, nevertheless, together with these taking immunosuppressive medicines, ought to discuss to their physician after they have been vaccinated to debate what protecting measures they may want.)

Dr. Emily Landon, who leads the an infection management and prevention efforts at University of Chicago Medicine, says the info helps the concept that absolutely vaccinated dad and mom of unvaccinated kids can safely take off their very own masks.

“The vast majority of the data that’s coming out — and what we’re seeing anecdotally on the ground, taking care of patients — is that individuals who get COVID after they’ve been vaccinated, as long as they’re not immunocompromised, they get really mild disease and they have such low viral loads that they’re not passing it on to their family members,” Landon says.

For vaccinated dad and mom, it is okay to take away your masks, Landon says: “As long as everybody in your family, including yourself, are low-risk, it’s probably fine for you to have an unmasked lifestyle now.”

But she says dad and mom would possibly need to hold carrying a masks once they’re out with their children, to set a great instance for them.

“Kids often do what they see their parents do. And I know a lot of my close friends who are physicians who have children under the age of 12, and I have a child who’s not fully vaccinated yet because he’s only 12. And we think it’s really important to continue to wear masks, in solidarity with our kids, to help them feel like they’re not an outlier and to make sure that we’re setting a good example for them,” Landon says.

What if my baby is immunocompromised?

“You may want to be more careful and make sure that you’re not even bringing home asymptomatic COVID,” Landon says. “This is going to be a personal decision for parents. But there is nothing wrong with continuing to wear your mask if you want to be continue to take extra precautions against COVID.”

And while you’re indoors in a crowded setting, it’s best to defend your eyes as properly, she says.

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