Protecting kids who are too young to get vaccinated against COVID-19

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Action News meteorologist Adam Joseph shared his family's story over the weekend urging others to help protect kids too young to be vaccinated against the virus.

As the number of cases climb in our area again, that means the risk for anyone who is unvaccinated also goes up - and that includes young children.

"Please if you are not vaccinated do not go around children under 12," said Joseph.

6abc's Adam Joseph opens up about his family's COVID health scare
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"We need to protect our children": 6abc's Adam Joseph is speaking out and warning others about the coronavirus after his children and others close to him were recently infected with the virus.

Joseph shared his family's personal story nationally Monday on Good Morning America. How one decision, inviting an unvaccinated family member to visit, led to that family member and now both Joseph's kids sick with COVID-19.

Dr. Judd Hollander with Jefferson Health said it's easy to let your guard down, but now is not the time.

"I am so nervous, it's unbelievable, because it's happening at the same time, so we have a more infectious agent and at the same time we're becoming cavalier about this," said Dr. Hollander.

He's talking about the Delta variant, which takes less time and space to spread.

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As COVID-19 cases are going up in unvaccinated areas, experts say the Delta variant is likely to blame as it is the most contagious mutation we've seen so far.

The vaccine works against it to prevent serious illness, but kids under 12 can't get the shots. That means the best way to protect them is to vaccinate everyone around them.

"If your household is vaccinated and everyone's household is vaccinated that you're in preschool with, your kid's not going to get it because they're not exposed to any unvaccinated people," said Dr. Hollander.

That should include older kids as well 12 and up are eligible to get vaccinated.

Dr. Hollander said if parents are still on the fence, look at the data - 99% of people dying from and 97% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

"So there is better evidence than almost anything in the world that the vaccine truly, truly protects you," he said.

Also, try to reduce risk for young kids and keep activities outside. If you have to be inside or in a closed-in location such as a bus, make sure anyone unvaccinated is wearing a mask and keeping their distance.
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