With this year’s rollout of the COVID vaccine, a return to our familiar ways of life is picking up momentum. Families are reuniting and people are returning to public life. The lively chatter of bars and restaurants is coming back. This protective medicine is becoming more and more widely available, and now EPIC Health is able to offer the vaccine for children.

As more people take the COVID vaccine, we learn more about how it affects adults and children.  Children do have a risk of catching COVID and their growing bodies can struggle to deal with it, which can lead to serious reactions and longer-term health impacts. Luckily, the FDA has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 5-11. The vaccine can help keep children from catching COVID, and it can reduce the symptoms if they do get sick.

This is great news for concerned parents, especially as many kids are getting back to in-person school routines. Kids can struggle with always remembering to wash their hands, not fidgeting with masks, and so on, so having a vaccine can take away those worries when kids go to classes, clubs, or sports. Another major reason for having children vaccinated is the ability to reunite with loved ones and resume family traditions. Beyond vaccination, here are some other steps you can take to stay safe and healthy this holiday season:

1. Continue following CDC guidelines on masks, social distancing, and general hygiene.

The CDC’s recommendations for everyone 2 years and older to wear masks and stay socially distant still apply for those who do not take the vaccine. For those who are fully vaccinated, these same steps are still recommended to maximize protection. Covering coughs and sneezes, washing your hands, and disinfecting touch surfaces are other simple steps you can take to reduce the spread of viral particles.

2. Think ahead when planning public outings or gatherings.

Rising vaccination rates and the relaxation of precautions in some places means that these public venues will host larger holiday crowds than in 2020. One way to avoid the added risks this can pose is by thinking ahead and being a creative planner. If you’re planning a family outing in public, try to pick a day when smaller crowds are likely, or go at a time of day outside of peak hours. Consider searching for outdoor gatherings where you can have fun and boost your winter cheer without bringing your family into an enclosed and crowded space. When you are in crowds, masks are always helpful.

3. Monitor your family’s health and consider testing for COVID.

Being conscious of any symptoms you or your family experience will let you be proactive rather than reactive. If you are experiencing potential COVID symptoms, take your temperature first, and then take a COVID test to determine whether you could spread the virus. Be sure to keep extended family and friends up to date on any symptoms or other health concerns when planning for holiday festivities and fun.

There is still time to schedule your children’s vaccination ahead of the holiday season!

We offer flexible scheduling designed specifically to help working parents ensure their kids can get protected. When you’re ready for your children to be vaccinated – or the next time they need a checkup – we’ll be there for you with doses in stock. Schedule an appointment with EPIC Health today!

Call 248-336-4000 or visit https://www.epichs.org/appointment/ to schedule.