ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Diabelas Verdejo says she’s fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Per state guidance—she can now go most places without wearing a mask. But, there’s a catch. Her 9-year-old daughter can’t be vaccinated. Children under 12-years-old aren’t eligible for a COVID vaccine—meaning all the news about eased masking doesn’t apply to them.
“I feel like that’s not kinda fair,” says Verdejo.
Verdejo says in settings like the mall or grocery store she doesn’t want to remove her mask yet if her daughter still has to wear one. As a result, “I would just wear it so she can feel comfortable.”
Dr. Elizabeth Murray, pediatrician with University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry is also a fully vaccinated parent, choosing this same behavior. She says keeping the mask on for those grocery runs can make a child feel less alone and execute role-model behavior.
Masking in schools isn’t going anywhere soon, according to Murray. “What we know from national data, more children die from COVID than normal flu years,” she said.
But, not every scenario calls for a mask anymore. For example, playing outside with other vaccinated family members, or other friends who take similar precautions as you.
“It’s the large group activities where kids are close to each other for longer periods of time is more concerning and masks will definitely be needed,” Murray said.
At the end of the day, each family is different. Dr. Murray recommends talking with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. COVID vaccine trials are underway for children under 12, and she predicts that preliminary data will be available by this fall.