Children can now get the coronavirus vaccine to keep them safe from COVID-19. And with Thanksgiving around the corner, all signs point toward normalcy returning for the holidays.

  • But here’s the thing — children won’t be considered fully vaccinated in time for Thanksgiving, which surely raises some questions among parents.
  • The first dose of vaccination for children became available last week and full vaccination requires two shots, which are spaced three weeks apart.
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Dr. Leana Wen, a professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, recently told CNN that children won’t be fully vaccinated in time for Thanksgiving, so they shouldn’t behave like they are.

  • “Most children who are getting their first doses now will have partial protection by Thanksgiving,” she told CNN. “I would not recommend that they behave as if they were fully vaccinated. Continue to exercise caution for the time being, especially because they are so close to being fully vaccinated.”

So should you still gather for Thanksgiving? Wen said it shouldn’t stop you from gathering together as long as you mitigate risk ahead of time and keep safe before the dinner takes place.

  • “It’s hard for everyone to stop their lives prior to the get-together,” Wen told CNN. “I’d encourage people to do their best to reduce their risk in that period. People going to school and work where they will be around others of unknown vaccination status should wear high-quality masks when they are indoors. Do not go to crowded indoor bars or restaurants, or get together with other people, indoors, during that period.”
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said earlier this fall that it’s perfectly fine for families to spend time together during the holiday season, especially if everyone is vaccinated.

  • “If you’re vaccinated and your family members are vaccinated ... you can enjoy the holidays. You can enjoy Halloween, trick-or-treating, and certainly Thanksgiving with your family and Christmas with your family,” Fauci said on ABC News’ “This Week.”
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The holidays remind us why we should be vaccinated, too, he said.

  • “That’s one of the reasons why we emphasize why it’s so important to get vaccinated not only for your own safety, for that of your family, but also for the good of the community to keep the level of infection down,” he said on ABC News’ “This Week.” “When you do that there’s no reason at all why you can’t enjoy the holidays ... the way we’ve traditionally done it all along.”
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