How Epidemiologists Are Planning to Vacation With Their Unvaccinated Kids

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The health of your family members is also a big consideration.

“We are very conservative as far as our risk level,” said Tara C. Smith, a professor of epidemiology at the Kent State University College of Public Health, in Ohio, who will be vacationing with younger relatives who aren’t yet eligible for vaccination and have health conditions. It’s not clear why some kids get very sick from Covid and others don’t, she said, and the possibility of a coronavirus infection is “not something that I want to deal with just because we tried to go and have some fun.”

After weighing the options, she and her family decided to drive out of state and stay at a hotel near a beach that won’t be packed with visitors.

If you are still trying to figure out what kinds of risks you’re willing to take, an online risk calculator can help.

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have spent the better part of a year discouraging nonessential travel to prevent further virus transmission, last week the agency announced that fully vaccinated people can now travel safely on mass transportation, including planes, in the United States.

But at a White House news conference announcing the new guidance, C.D.C. officials hedged, saying that they would prefer that people avoid travel because of the rising number of coronavirus cases, even though domestic travel is considered “low-risk” for those who are fully vaccinated. Most of the experts we spoke with plan to drive to their destinations, in part because their children are not vaccinated.

Sadie Costello, an occupational and environmental epidemiologist at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, has two road trips planned — a camping trip with friends where the adults are vaccinated and the kids are not, and a family trip to a rental vacation house with a private pool.

“It’s a balance between Covid safety and mental health,” said Dr. Costello, who has two children, ages 10 and 14.

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