Local pediatrician weighs in on kids wearing masks in light of new CDC guidance | News

For many, the warm weather and the chance to take off the mask is a reason to celebrate. But for parents of young children, pediatricians say the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention means more decisions to make.

SPRINGFIELD, MA(WGGB/WSHM)–We’re expecting Governor Charlie Baker to announce updated reopening guidelines here in Massachusetts early next week. This following guidance from the federal government that fully vaccinated people can ditch their masks indoors.

That has prompted questions about mask-wearing for those who aren’t able to get the vaccine.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — One day after the Center for Disease Control and Prevention a…

For many, the warm weather and the chance to take off the mask is a reason to celebrate. But for parents of young children, pediatricians say the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention means more decisions to make.

“Protect and serve at all costs, so that’s what I want to do,” recent graduate Shaquan Irving said.

Shaquan Irving spent Friday morning celebrating, not only his graduation from Westfield State University’s criminal justice program but also the CDC’s new advice that fully vaccinated people no longer need masks indoors.

“Without a mask, if you’re fully vaccinated why not?” Irving said.

Shaquan’s mother, Shawanda Brown, proud to watch her son graduate, tells Western Mass News she is still okay with wearing a mask.

BOSTON (WGGB/WSHM) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to provide an update the …

“For me. I just want to be safe still, because there are people that haven’t been vaccinated,” Brown said.

But what about those who are too young to get the vaccine?

Western Mass news got this question into our getting answers inbox from a parent asking about their children, all under the age of 12.

Baystate Health Pediatrician John O’Reilly says that’s where the CDC’s new advice is lacking.

“the CDC guidance sort of puts parents in a little bit of a bind,” O’Reilly said.

Without age-specific recommendations, O’Reilly says parents need to weigh the risks of each situation their children will face.

“The outdoors is much safer than the indoors,” O’Reilly said.

He also says the health of the child and their age should play a role.

“If your child is under nine even if they catch it running around the playground they’re less likely to give it to one of the other adults in the family,” O’Reilly said.

He also tells Western Mass News it is critical to consider older members of the family with whom the child might come into close contact.

“If you’re a parent and you want your child to get out there and play the best thing you can do is get yourselves and your family members vaccinated,” O’Reilly said.

Right now only the Pfizer vaccine is available to kids 12 and up, but several vaccine manufacturers are studying versions of their shots for younger kids.

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