SEATTLE — As vaccination rates go up, people are more likely to be traveling this holiday season than they did last year, and a physician in Seattle has some tips for how families can travel safely.
Dr. Avantika Waring of Kaiser Permanente, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommends people delay travel until they are fully vaccinated, meaning two weeks after their final shot.
Beyond that, she said people should continue to protect themselves the ways they have been.
“All of the things that we’ve been doing throughout the pandemic, even beyond vaccination, are still really important,” Waring advised. “So, wearing a mask on the airline and also in any sort of indoor space. Trying to practice social distancing from people who aren’t in our immediate family is still important. Washing our hands. Avoiding large crowds.”
Washington state recommends booster shots at least six months after their original Pfizer or Moderna shots for people 65 and older, also those with underlying medical conditions or who live in long-term care facilities. Waring noted people should also speak with their doctors about getting a flu shot.
This week, the CDC’s vaccine advisors voted to approve the Pfizer vaccine for kids ages five to eleven, giving the green light for children in this age group to get shots.
Waring added it opens the door for them to travel safely over the holidays.
“Having conversations with your kids, I think right now, is a great opportunity as we’re heading into the next phase of vaccinations,” Waring explained. “Just talk to them about the importance of getting these shots and how it’s hopefully going to change things for all us in the coming weeks and months.”
Parents can consult their kids’ doctors about getting the COVID-19 vaccination.
Waring also advised people to keep in mind the COVID-19 regulations of the places they’ll travel.
“The state and local guidelines might be different based on where you’re going,” Waring pointed out. “So always look into what the requirements will be when you arrive, as far as masking requirements, and also whether you’ll need to have vaccination documents and that kind of thing.”