Study: Vaccinated parents give unvaccinated children protection

Vaccinated parents are giving their unvaccinated kids protection against COVID-19, according to a new study out of Israel

The data was collected last year during the Alpha and Delta waves, but it could hold true to the current variant we are battling.

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The new study is a collaboration that includes Harvard Medical School and Israel’s largest healthcare organization. They looked at homes with unvaccinated kids from January through September 2021 and found that if one parent was vaccinated, children in the house had a 26% lower risk of getting infected.

Two parents vaccinated equaled a 72% lower risk.

"It’s directly an effect of the parent being protected, so not infected themselves, and therefore can’t pass on the virus to their children. It’s not some magical protection that you know the antibodies spill over to the child, it is just that it reduces the probability of someone who is infected in the household," said Dr. Catherine Troisi, who is an infectious disease epidemiologist with UTHealth School of Public Health.


She says although the study was done during the Alpha and Delta wave, it should hold true for Omicron.

"I would imagine that the results would be the same, maybe not to the same degree of protection, but still if the children are less likely to be exposed to someone who is infected because their parents are vaccinated, then it just stands to reason that they are less likely to get infected themselves," she said.

So what can you do to protect your kids who are not eligible to be vaccinated, or you’re still unsure if you want them vaccinated? Dr. Troisi says it’s called cocooning.


"Does this mean you can’t go out to the playground? Absolutely not, it doesn’t mean that. Especially because you are outside. What it means is you would want to avoid high-risk areas and you would want to reduce the risk that a parent is going to bring the infection into the household because they are out and about."

CDC recommends everyone ages 5 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against the virus.