CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Lowcountry physicians say a normal holiday season could happen for families who are fully vaccinated, but the two-shot journey needs to begin as soon as possible.
Dr. Annie Andrews, the Medical University of South Carolina’s (MUSC) Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellowship Director said, children and adults who get their vaccines this week can be fully vaccinated by Christmas.
“We have to remember that everything changed with the Delta surge, and we started to see kids getting sick and some kids getting severely sick from the Delta variant of COVID,” said Dr. Andrews.
For the physician, Associate Professor, and mother, when the vaccine for five to 11-year-olds became available, her children were among the first in line.
I got my children vaccinated actually the very first day they were able to at MUSC and I was filled with immense relief and gratitude that day and my children are also excited. They’ve seen their lives turned upside down over the last 18 months and they understand that this is the most efficient wat to get out of this pandemic and this is the key to opening up other new experiences that they have missed out on.Dr. Annie Andrews, Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellowship Director
But it’s not just those five-to 11-year-olds who need protection, Dr. Andrews said only 30 percent of those 12- to 19-year-old statewide are vaccinated. Even more, are currently eligible for booster shots which could assist in protecting those ahead of even Thanksgiving.
While technically the booster would not give you full protection by Thanksgiving, Dr. Andrews said it would give you some additional protection. She said she believes it is a great idea to get as many vaccines and boosters in before any holiday travel or family gatherings.
Children getting the vaccine could also protect one jolly man—who travels the most during the holiday season. Dr. Andrews said, “Santa has to visit many, many, many homes on Christmas Eve and that could be exposed to a lot of germs and so it is a great way for kids to work to help protect Santa so that he can deliver toys to all the children this year.”
For those who are still unsure whether or not to vaccinate, Dr. Andrews suggests speaking with your primary care physician or pediatrician to see what is best for you and your family.