Many grandparents have gone the entire pandemic without hugging their grandchildren. We’re all missing our loved ones, to be sure so the COVID-19 vaccination is a welcome sight. However, before you visit anyone who has received the COVID-19 vaccination, it is important to consider the following facts.
COVID-19 vaccinations are finally being distributed across the country, albeit in phases. Both approved vaccines require two doses, and they are about 95% effective against coronavirus. But does that mean it is finally safe to visit Grandma and Granddad and other high-risk relatives after they get vaccinated?
- The vaccines are highly effective but not foolproof. The first dose provides 50% protection against the coronavirus while the second dose raises the effectiveness to about 95%.
- We don’t know how long immunity lasts. At this stage, experts don’t know how long you are immune to the coronavirus after receiving the vaccine. It will depend on two factors: the duration of the immune response and changes in the virus over time. We already know there are several new, more contagious strains circulating. The flu has yearly alterations so they change the vaccine components each year. We don’t know if COVID-19 will do the same thing. Only (more) time will tell.
- Experts don’t know whether people can still spread COVID-19 after getting vaccinated. Vaccines are designed to protect the vaccinated individual from getting sick. Clinical trials did not test whether they could still spread the SARS- CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Why is this important for families? There are no vaccines currently available for children under 16 years of age. That means it is still possible for them to catch the virus and spread it unknowingly.
The bottom line is it is important to discuss visiting older relatives with both sides of the family. Meaning if you and your spouse/partner are no longer together, it should be discussed jointly, and the decision should be a unified one – in order to keep the entire family safe. Additionally, should you and your ex-partner decide that you do want to see extended family members, everyone should still wear masks and social distance as much as possible – even after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Many parents find themselves in the final phase to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, meaning it could be months before they themselves are inoculated. Couple that with the fact that there are no doses available for children younger than 16 and it could be a recipe for disaster. So, if your grandparents or elderly relatives are the only ones getting vaccinated right now, you may still want to consider waiting a bit longer to plan a trip to visit them.
New York Family Law Attorney
If you have questions about how the COVID-19 vaccination may impact your child custody arrangements, The Mandel Law Firm can help. We understand just how confusing and frustrating the pandemic has been for families across the nation, including New York. With an end in sight, it is important that we continue to work together to resolve disputes. However, we also recognize that disagreements do happen and that they can’t always be resolved. When that happens, you’ll want an experienced New York Family Law Attorney on your side. To schedule a consultation, please give us a call today at: 646-770-3868 or send us a secure message via our website.