Vaccines and the Holidays

 Last year was hard on us all with the pandemic preventing many from gathering over the holiday season. The pandemic has reshaped life as we once knew it. Many undoubtedly insist on celebrating with others this upcoming 2021 holiday season. Unfortunately, large-scale gatherings increase the risk of contracting COVID-19. While holiday traditions are important for families and children, there are several ways to enjoy the holidays and protect your health. 

Vaccinating Your Child

We are one step closer to beating COVID-19. The good news is children ages five and older are now eligible for the vaccine. People who are fully vaccinated can start doing things they gave up because of the pandemic.  Let’s get kids back to safely being with their family and friends. Children can easily spread the virus to other people in their homes, school, and community. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help prevent your child from getting sick and help protect those around them. Help protect your whole family by having everyone five years and older get the vaccine.  

With the availability of COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots, many can travel safely within the US. The vaccine is safe and will not cause the disease it was designed to prevent. Vaccines are as crucial to your overall health as diet and exercise. Young and healthy people can get very sick, too. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine can help ensure you, your family and the community remain healthy.

Plan and Prepare

Masks are still a good choice for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Currently, the CDC and DHEC recommend that everyone wear their mask, even those who are fully vaccinated. Many people may not realize that they are carrying the virus. Wearing a face covering can protect you as well as others.

Staying informed and getting the latest information on how COVID-19 spreads is vital. Person-to-person contact is the most common way the virus spreads. Therefore, social distancing and quarantining are encouraged. Try to avoid crowds and stay six feet from anyone that is not in your group. If you plan to travel, the safest way would be with members of your household or fully vaccinated individuals.

It has been advised that sanitizing, disinfecting, and washing your hands all help to slow the spread of COVID-19. Remember that one of the most important ways to limit your exposure to COVID-19 is to clean and sanitize your hands and surfaces regularly. Sanitizing and disinfecting more frequently in shared and high-traffic areas will lower the chances of spreading the virus during this holiday season.

Now that more Americans are re-entering public spaces, it is important to know the vaccination status of those traveling and visiting with you. Once you are aware, you can make an informed decision about your gathering. It’s key to be open and transparent to understand where each person is. Remember that different activities pose various risks and knowing whether someone is vaccinated puts everyone on the same page when making plans. Since many generations tend to gather together, the best way to minimize the spread of COVID-19 is to get vaccinated if you are eligible and prepare to have these conversations with your loved ones in advance.

COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available. Currently, there are three vaccines that are approved in the United States to prevent COVID-19. Do you have questions about where you can get your vaccine? Find your vaccine HERE.

If you already received your vaccine but want to know if you are eligible for a booster, you can click HERE.

Still have questions? Click HERE for key things to know about the COVID-19 vaccine.