COVID-19 vaccines are not available in the United States for children younger than 5. However, there are steps that you can take to prevent them getting sick over the holidays.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky is the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She advises, "Surround them by adults and siblings who have been vaccinated or boosted if they are eligible."
She encourages people to take COVID-19 home test before attending gatherings.
The CDC recommends that everyone who isn't vaccinated, including children under 2 years old, wear masks indoors. The agency recommends that children under 2 years old, or who are unable to wear a mask due to other reasons, limit their contact with non-vaccinated persons. It also recommends keeping a distance from the child and other children in public places.
Matthew Binnicker, a specialist in viral infections at Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota says that it may be a good idea for everyone to wear masks at family gatherings if there are unvaccinated children present. There is still the possibility of the virus spreading to adults who have not been vaccinated.
He suggests that gatherings should be limited to 10 or less people.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is the nation's foremost infectious disease expert and says that family gatherings should not be confused with parties with 30, 40 or 50 people where it's unclear who's vaccinated.
He says, "Those are the functions that you don't want to do in the context COVID and especially in the context omicron."
Children aged 5-11 years old in the United States can receive kid-sized doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer is currently testing a smaller dose for preschoolers and babies.