With the holiday season upon us, health experts are promoting the importance of vaccination for all eligible people. Being fully immunized against the coronavirus protects against contracting the virus, and significantly lowers the risk of severe illness or death.
Many experts said that if people are fully vaccinated, they can enjoy a somewhat normal holiday season.
Dr. Keri Althoff, an Epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, emphasized that getting vaccinated is the best way to have a safe Thanksgiving with a few precautions:
Wearing masks when indoors can prevent the spread of the virus, and keeping gatherings small or limited to just members of your household can also help.
While there’s no way to have kids fully vaccinated by Thanksgiving, Althoff said that having just one dose under their belt could make a difference.
“It’s like one half step forward. You can’t say your child has taken the full step of vaccination at Thanksgiving, because of the timing, but if you can get one dose prior to Thanksgiving, you’ll also be all set for the December holidays,” Althoff said.
Even if everyone at the event is vaccinated, it can help to open doors or windows for increased ventilation, to reduce the already-low risk of a breakthrough case.
You can also get tested before gathering. Rapid tests return results in just a few minutes, while PCR tests can be more accurate. In some areas, at-home rapid tests are even an option, making it easy for people to make sure they aren’t asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
By following these steps, experts believe it’s possible to have a somewhat normal Thanksgiving.