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How does vaccinating adults from COVID-19 affect children's lives?

It's all about driving cases down, doctor says
Posted at 5:33 AM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-08 06:20:33-05

BOCA RATON, Fla. — As the vaccine rollout continues, many parents now have questions about what this means for protecting their children.

"It is very confusing for us, I am sure it is very confusing for all the parents out there," said Sarah Weinstein, a mother of two children in Jupiter.


Weinstein and her dad, Arnie Weinstein, are trying to sort through life and COVID-19 vaccinations. He lives with his daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren and has received both doses of the vaccine.

"I have my shots, but I still don't understand how it can protect kids because what if they get it elsewhere?" he asked. "If everybody in the house gets protected, but not every kid in the class' house is protected, she could wind up getting it no matter what we did. So how does that work? I don’t know."

Sarah Weinstein and Arnie Weinstein
Sarah Weinstein, a mother of two children, lives with her father, who has already received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Sarah Weinstein has underlying health issues and hopes to get vaccinated soon as well.

"Once all the adults are vaccinated, does it mean that life starts to get more back to normal?" she asked.

Dr. Chad Rudnick, a pediatrician in Boca Raton, breaks it down and calls it a slow approach.

"If we are able to vaccinate the majority of adults in the population and wear masks right now, we are going to drive down the number of cases and once we do that, then for kids, we get to start relaxing some of the restrictions, opening up some more things for them to do without all the precautions," he said.

Rudnick said to think about what happens with a newborn and apply that to the COVID-19 vaccine.

"We protect and vaccinate everyone around a newborn baby, who is too young to get vaccinated," he said. "That includes adults getting their whooping cough booster and kids and adults around them getting their flu vaccine."

Rudnick said it is all about driving down the case count.

Dr. Chad Rudnick
Dr. Chad Rudnick says it is best to vaccinate as many adults as possible who have contact with children.

"Vaccinate enough adults and enough people who qualify and still have people mask-wearing and social distancing, we bring the cases down significantly," he said. "Once that happens, we're able to loosen those restrictions. Some of the first things that might be able to come back are like school assemblies."

He said everyone has a responsibility to protect the vulnerable.

"Getting vaccinated when it is your turn is something that is so important for your health but also the health of those around you," Rudnick said. "If the grandparents in my child's life were not vaccinated, I would not feel comfortable having my child around them. I’m doing the best to protect the elderly around them and my family."

Sarah Weinstein hopes this all eventually leads to some normalcy for children.

"There is so much value for them having that face-to-face interaction at school," she said.