CDC recommends vaccines for children: what it means for family travel

The CDC and FDA have approved vaccines for children under 5 just in time for the busiest travel season.

“We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today’s decision, they can,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said when she announced decision.

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Both Pfizer and Moderna offer vaccines for young children.

Pfizer’s pediatric COVID vaccine is available for children 6 months to 4 years old. The shot is given in three separate doses. Moderna’s pediatric COVID vaccine is available for children ages 6 months to 5 years and is given in two separate doses four weeks apart.

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Although these vaccines cannot prevent infection with COVID-19, the antibodies provided by the vaccines protect children against hospitalization and extreme illnesses, which means that parents planning a summer trip will know that their children are somehow protected against COVID-19.

Vaccines also mean young children can avoid testing in certain situations, such as cruise vacations. Some cruise lines require unvaccinated passengers to test boarding on cruise ships, including after leaving the ship on shore excursions.

Families should always take precautions when traveling, even if vaccinated, to avoid infection and delays in travel plans due to illness, the CDC advised.

Many countries have lifted their vaccination mandates for travelers, but those planning trips should always check before traveling abroad. Some destinations still require a negative COVID-19 test for travelers as well, which includes children under 5.

“Given the time it takes to achieve immunity in this age group, I don’t think this will impact summer 2022 travel,” said Beth Rasor, travel advisor and specialist. destination weddings at Luxury Travel Boutique, a subsidiary of Be All Inclusive. . “However, I think it will boost parents’ confidence in traveling during the fall and winter months. It really is the perfect time when you think about it. Families with preschoolers or younger have the golden opportunity to travel after school starts in the fall months when demand and prices are generally lower than the summer months.”

Scott Lara of TheCruiseGenius.com agrees, noting some parents may still be hesitant but many travelers will still be traveling this summer.

“Speaking as a grandfather of two grandsons under the age of 5, I feel that many parents are still unconvinced about vaccines for young children,” Lara said. “Many parents will likely opt for staycations over a cruise or trip abroad. That being said, all-inclusive resorts remain popular with many families.”

Some travelers are probably still held back by vaccination mandates.

“My customers are waiting more for vaccination mandates to clear before they travel, especially on cruises,” said Tyson Wharton, owner of Sioux Empire Travel. “I think everyone who’s vaccinated will be, and those who aren’t won’t be convinced.”

Many believe that the end of pre-departure testing was the watershed moment for family travel in the summer.

“I have clients who are comfortable traveling with fully immunized adults and teens, others feel good about the world as it is,” said Mandee Migliaccio, CEO of Stepping Out Travel. “The flood walls have opened with the release of testing back to the United States. The majority of my customers would start traveling again if the vaccine requirements were lifted.”


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