When will it be OK for kids to hug their grandparents again?

When will it be OK for kids to hug their grandparents again?

As more grandparents receive the COVID-19 vaccine by the day, many have a simple question: Is it OK now to get hugs from the grandkids? One doctor said it’s not a simple answer.At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, there was a very real danger of a hug could kill close family members.As the country closes in on a year of social distancing and a vaccine becomes more widely distributed, nearly everyone is yearning to be physically close again.That includes snuggling with grandkids.”Usually right now, I’m just talking to the grandkids through the phone, so I think that’s the safest thing to do right now,” said Tony Cicero, a grandparent waiting for the COVID-19 vaccine.He said he expects to be vaccinated.”I think you got a better chance not to expose it,” Cicero said.”We haven’t seen them since the summertime for a very brief visit,” Jamie Schmitz said of her grandchildren. She said until they get vaccinated, they won’t take the chance. Schmitz said after being vaccinated, she and her husband would feel safer getting a hug from their grandkids.”That’s a big joy you don’t want to miss that, but unfortunately right now you have to deal with it,” she said.As they wait, hundreds of people are getting vaccinated at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee.”The key thing to remember here is there is no zero-risk situation,” Senior Medical Director at UW Health Dr. Matt Anderson said.He said while the vaccine isn’t a silver bullet, it makes get-togethers less risky — especially for the group most likely to die from COVID-19.”We know that grandma or grandpa or whoever it is, is gonna be very much less likely to be infected with COVID-19, and we know that if they are in that small percentage that could have a COVID-19 infection after vaccination, they’re gonna be at much lower risk of severe illness,” Anderson said.The wait could be longer for those in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Because the vaccines are under an emergency use authorization, staff and residents can’t be required to be vaccinated, meaning any outside visitors could still pose a risk of infection.Anderson said face masks and social distancing should still be practiced when possible.

As more grandparents receive the COVID-19 vaccine by the day, many have a simple question: Is it OK now to get hugs from the grandkids?

One doctor said it’s not a simple answer.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, there was a very real danger of a hug could kill close family members.

As the country closes in on a year of social distancing and a vaccine becomes more widely distributed, nearly everyone is yearning to be physically close again.

That includes snuggling with grandkids.

“Usually right now, I’m just talking to the grandkids through the phone, so I think that’s the safest thing to do right now,” said Tony Cicero, a grandparent waiting for the COVID-19 vaccine.

He said he expects to be vaccinated.

“I think you got a better chance not to expose it,” Cicero said.

“We haven’t seen them since the summertime for a very brief visit,” Jamie Schmitz said of her grandchildren.

She said until they get vaccinated, they won’t take the chance. Schmitz said after being vaccinated, she and her husband would feel safer getting a hug from their grandkids.

“That’s a big joy you don’t want to miss that, but unfortunately right now you have to deal with it,” she said.

As they wait, hundreds of people are getting vaccinated at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee.

“The key thing to remember here is there is no zero-risk situation,” Senior Medical Director at UW Health Dr. Matt Anderson said.

He said while the vaccine isn’t a silver bullet, it makes get-togethers less risky — especially for the group most likely to die from COVID-19.

“We know that grandma or grandpa or whoever it is, is gonna be very much less likely to be infected with COVID-19, and we know that if they are in that small percentage that could have a COVID-19 infection after vaccination, they’re gonna be at much lower risk of severe illness,” Anderson said.

The wait could be longer for those in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

Because the vaccines are under an emergency use authorization, staff and residents can’t be required to be vaccinated, meaning any outside visitors could still pose a risk of infection.

Anderson said face masks and social distancing should still be practiced when possible.

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