Vaccinated Parents Worry About Their Unvaccinated Kids

Vaccinated adults have been able to enjoy a sense of protection since being inoculated, and not just for themselves. Those who have young children not yet eligible for Covid-19 shots could at least get some sense of relief knowing they were all protected. A fully vaccinated adult, if exposed to the coronavirus at their workplace or anywhere else, was unlikely to bring it home to their kids

But that relief evaporated last week after a change in federal guidance on masks for vaccinated people, followed by what prompted the switch: new findings about the highly contagious delta variant, detailed in a leaked internal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) document.

The findings indicated that while breakthrough infections in vaccinated individuals are far rarer than infections in unvaccinated people, such cases may be as transmissible as those among unvaccinated people. With the Delta variant spreading across the country, many families with children too young to be vaccinated who had just begun venturing back into vacations, play dates and other pre-pandemic pastimes now say they are reconsidering. Some parents are questioning whether it is safe to continue to send their kids to camp. Some fear the upcoming school year will be upended by more Covid-19 cases in classrooms than ever before, between a more contagious variant spreading and mitigation measures, such as masks, no longer being implemented in certain schools.

Their concern is not just indirectly exposing the youngest members of the family to the coronavirus, but that vaccinated parents, too, are no longer invincible. A weekend getaway without the kids or a date night at the movies or inside a restaurant suddenly feels like it could inadvertently bring the coronavirus into their household, something they had not previously worried over. Serious illness in children is rare, but pediatric coronavirus cases are on the rise, and many parents are wondering if their children will be next to get sick — a worry they had all but shed as Covid-19 cases nationwide dropped in the spring and early summer.


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