With kids ages 5 and up now eligible for the vaccine, this holiday season is looking significantly brighter than last year. But, as experts keep reminding us, we are still in a pandemic. Breakthrough cases can occur (although they are thankfully much less severe than for those who are unvaccinated) and children younger than 5 are not yet able to get vaccinated. In other words, while parents should feel much more comfortable celebrating the holidays this year compared to last, they will likely still want to take some precautions. But which ones? Here’s what five pediatrician moms are doing this Thanksgiving.
The doctor: Michelle Klein, MD at Uptown Pediatrics in NYC and mom to a 4-year-old son and twin 2-year-old girls.
Thanksgiving precautions: COVID testing, no flying
Thanksgiving plans: “This Thanksgiving, I am heading to my husband’s family which is only a drive away. We will be celebrating indoors with family, all of whom are vaccinated except for my children and two other kids who are under the age of 5. We will do COVID testing prior to seeing everyone and be very careful beforehand.”
The doctor: Dr. Beth Oller, MD, a family physician in Stockton, Kansas and mom to four kids ages 2, 5 and 9.
Thanksgiving precautions: small gathering, all adults vaccinated and boostered, eligible children vaccinated, windows open
Thanksgiving plans: “Thanksgiving will be a small affair at our house in Kansas this year, as it was last year. We will be inviting the grandparents that live in our town as well as the great grandmas. All adults are vaccinated and boostered, so we will not be requiring rapid tests before coming. Winter in Kansas can be pretty cold, but we leave the windows open and the door to the covered porch open when we can to ensure air circulation. The thing I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving is that our three oldest children, Lyla who is 9 and Maya and Merrick who are both 5, will be able to be vaccinated. With COVID-19 vaccines being authorized for children ages 5 to 11 so close to Thanksgiving, my eligible kids will only be able to have had their first dose by Thanksgiving, but we have been eagerly anticipating getting this done. Our 2-year-old, Noble, will soon be the only family member not vaccinated, but I have hope that soon he also will be able to be, and until then, we will be able to surround him with protection. For now, the more people vaccinated in my family makes me feel like this holiday will be safer and more enjoyable for us all.”
The doctor: Navya Mysore, MD at One Medical in NYC and mom to a 2-year-old son.
Thanksgiving precautions: small gathering
Thanksgiving plans: “We are actually having a relatively quiet Thanksgiving this year—not necessarily only because of COVID but because life has been so busy, we decided to use the Thanksgiving break as a time to rest and spend some quality time with some friends and family. My advice is to make sure that everyone is one the same page before your celebrations and family gatherings take place. It will make it so that the evening is smoother, preventing any surprises including potentially challenging conversations with family.”