If Everyone But Your Child Has Their COVID-19 Vaccine, Is Summer Travel Safe for Your Family?

So your family is ready for a change of scenery, and the adults and older teens are fully vaccinated. But what if your younger child is still waiting on their COVID-19 vaccine?

Before you make any spring or summer travel plans, Connecticut Children’s infectious disease expert John R. Schreiber, MD, MPH, has guidance.

Want more articles like this from pediatric experts you trust?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Subscribe

Before planning a family vacation with a child who isn’t vaccinated, weigh the risks.

Mom, dad, and two children hold suitcases while leaving home

The CDC advises anyone who isn’t fully vaccinated to avoid travel, and that includes kids.

If your family is considering taking a trip anyway, you should think carefully about three things: Your child’s risk factors, your destination’s risk factors, and your comfort level with all of it.

1. Consider your child’s risk factors for COVID-19.

Does your child have any health conditions that put them at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 – like immunosuppression, diabetes or chronic lung disease?

If so, take a rain check on travel until your child is fully vaccinated. Otherwise, your family vacation could expose them to people and situations where the virus and its variants spread more easily.

2. Consider your travel destination’s COVID-19 risks.

Mom, dad, and two kids get items from the trunk during a road trip

  • What is the community spread of COVID-19? Do your research, and avoid any places that are experiencing surges.
  • How will you get there? Domestic air travel is now considered low risk for fully vaccinated individuals, but that’s not the case for unvaccinated kids. Shorter drives are your family’s safest bet for transportation during the pandemic, since you’ll have control over your environment except for one or two brief rest stops. Airplanes, trains, cruises and buses are higher risk, since your unvaccinated child could be in close proximity with other people, sometimes for hours.
  • Are your planned activities relatively low risk? If you can plan ahead for timed museum passes that allow for social distancing, or outdoor activities like hiking on a less-traveled trail, you can minimize the risk of your child coming into contact with COVID-19.
  • Will your family have a private place to stay? The fewer people that unvaccinated kids come into close, extended contact with, the better. So ideally, opt to stay at a private vacation rental or the home of a fully vaccinated loved one. If you’re headed to a resort or hotel, make sure you can take precautions to stay distanced from other guests, whether that’s in the lobby or around the elevators.

3. Consider your own comfort level with travel risks.

Your family may have lots of reasons they want to travel this spring and summer – among them, the chance to see long-distance (vaccinated) loved ones, or just to have an adventure after many months stuck at home. If you can take the right precautions to control the risks, that choice may make sense for your family.

Or you may weigh the options and decide to wait until your child is fully vaccinated. That’s always your safest choice, and there are lots of ways to recreate travel experiences at home. As we navigate the next few months of the pandemic, it’s important to stay cautious and within your comfort zone.

Travel or not, start preparing for a COVID-19 vaccine for your child.

While most kids experience only mild illness with COVID-19, it’s possible for some children to become very sick or even die.

So whether you’re at home or on vacation, please make sure any unvaccinated kids continue masking, social distancing and handwashing – and plan on getting their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one becomes available for their age range.

Stay safe and healthy.

 

Related links

 

Share This Post

Newsletter Sign-up
Want our latest Blog posts sent directly to your inbox once a month? Sign-up below.
* indicates required
Back to Top
Searching Animation
Searching