COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Jeanette Rubin spent Wednesday morning chasing around her toddling 1-year-old grandson Luke at Schiller Park. Rubin, a Florida resident, is spending three weeks in Columbus soaking up time lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was difficult. We couldn’t even be here when he was born because we really couldn’t be,” she said, explaining health concerns kept the family separated for nearly a year.
Since receiving their COVID-19 shots, Luke’s grandparents have been able to see him, but they now face a dilemma many Americans are experiencing: What’s safe for families with vaccinated adults and unvaccinated children?
“It’s not quite normal yet,” Rubin said. “We’d love to see him have more interactions with other kids. Even as we’re here in the park, you don’t know whether or not to get close to someone, you don’t know if they’ll accept it or not.”
Dr. Anup Kanodia, a Central Ohio family physician, explained the biggest priority should be vaccinating the highest risk individuals.
“The chances of kids giving COVID-19 to parents or grandparents are very low,” he said of transmission rates between unvaccinated children and vaccinated adults.
The Centers for Disease Control has said a vaccinated family can even visit another family who is not completely vaccinated, as long as the individuals who haven’t received the shot aren’t at high risk for severe cases of COVID-19.
Kanodia cautioned partially vaccinated families should still be taking safety measures when visiting with people outside of their immediate household.
“We’re in this in-between time,” he said.
He recommended outdoor visits and vacations, adding, “If kids aren’t vaccinated under 16 years old, then indoor playdates aren’t the best unless they’re wearing masks.”
At this point in the pandemic, Kanodia said families should weigh the risks of any activities and err on the side of caution, but he also encourages to safely socialize.
“There are so many benefits to being social: mental health, physical health, even spiritual health,” he said.
Health experts anticipate children ages 12-15 will be approved to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by fall. Younger children will likely have to wait until 2022.
To learn more about the risks partially vaccinated families face, click here.
If you have questions about your family and vaccines, Kanodia is hosting a free webinar Friday, April 30 at 2 p.m. You can register for the event by clicking here.