When can grandparents safely visit their grandkids after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Once vaccinated, senior citizens will be eager to spend time with their grandkids. But as Dr. Henry Anyimadu, an infectious disease specialist with Hartford HealthCare says, it’s a “very complicated decision to make.”

He says older folks should wait until they’ve received both doses of the vaccine. Then, allow two to three additional weeks to pass.

“You will be about 95% protected, but there’s still the risk you could get the virus,” said Anyimadu. “There are still asymptomatic transmissions that can happen.”

It’s not known if people who are vaccinated could still be carriers of coronavirus.

Anyimadu understands loneliness has been a real problem, too.

“We’ve been socially isolated for nine months? We’ve lost count, so people are ready to be out there to spend time with family. We have to play it based on what’s most important to you,” said Anyimadu.

The specialist from The Hospital of Central Connecticut does lay out a pretty positive scenario.

“In the big frame of things, I think it should be reasonably safe if both parties are vaccinated and they’ve waited two to three weeks,” he said.

After being vaccinated, family members should continue to wear masks, sanitize and social distance to further minimize the small risk of transmission.

“When we see about 70 to 85% of Americans vaccinated then we can begin to talk about herd immunity. In that case, there will be nowhere for the virus to live. We won’t be creating homes for the virus anymore and hopefully, it will fizzle out.”

Anyimadu said we need to change our perspective on vaccines and focus on how they’re great tools in risk reduction strategies.

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