Navigating summer outings with unvaccinated children


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When it comes to our kids, there's still a lot of uncertainty because our children are unvaccinated. 

Parents, grandparents and even older siblings may have already gotten their shots, but kids are open to exposure to COVID-19. 

"Children may be asymptomatic but many of them are getting very sick and being hospitalized so we need to keep our guards up at all time," Dr. Drew Oliveira with Regence BlueShield says. 

The good news is cases are going down and vaccinations are going up. More than 55 percent of Washingtonians are fully vaccinated, but we need to reach 70 percent to achieve herd immunity. 

Dr. Oliveira recommends talking with your kids about why they still need to wear a mask and social distance, even if the rest of the family is unmasked.

He also says it's important to check in with your kids about how they're doing with all of this uncertainty.

"Assess how your child has been coping with things," Dr. Oliveira says. "Children may or may not be able to express their feelings so look for signs of stress or anxiety, mood changes, sudden changes in their sleep patterns or their eating habits. "

In the meantime, Dr. Oliveira says you should get your older children vaccinated. 

There are ongoing vaccine studies for children 6 months - 11 years old. That data should be available by fall.

Pfizer and Moderna are looking to get emergency use authorization in September for kids older than 2 - and by the end of the year for babies.

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