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As Vaccinations Increase Among Adults, What's Safe For Kids?

BOSTON (CBS) - Nuvia Lopez's two children climb on a playground with a fearlessness common among five and three year olds. Their mother is a bit more timid when it comes to meeting up with other families amid the pandemic.

"Not yet. Not yet. Especially because there's no vaccine for kids," Lopez said.

Lopez's five-year-old son has asthma and even though she is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, she says she does not feel fully comfortable socializing with her children just yet.

It is a dilemma many families may soon face, with 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. fully vaccinated but no short-term prospects for a pediatric vaccine.

"Officially the CDC says that vaccinated adults can hang out with unvaccinated kids as long as those kids come from only one household," said Tufts Medical Center Epidemiologist Dr. Shira Doron.

Behind the black and white public health message, Dr. Doron says there are large areas of gray, especially since the risk of serious illness or death among children is very low. Doron recommends that every family do their own risk, benefit analysis.

"And given the fact that it's been over a year. And given the fact that loneliness is real, and given the fact that family is really important," Doron said.

Dr. Kristin Moffitt, an infectious disease physician at Boston Children's Hospital, recommends keeping gatherings small and outdoors when unvaccinated children are involved.

"Increasing the number of households that are subsequently getting together, even if all of the adults are vaccinated, is going to add to some level of increased risk. So, keeping it still to small gatherings would be best," she said.

If proper precautions like masking and distancing are taken, Moffit says vacationing, and even air travel can be safe with children.

Moffitt says fully vaccinated elderly and immunocompromised individuals should still be careful around children because the vaccines were not tested on people with compromised immune systems.

"If it's indoor get-togethers with those individuals, I still would recommend masking," she said.

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