ALEXANDRIA, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Moms and dads sending their children to daycare have a new worry: Can caregivers who didn’t get the shot transmit COVID-19 to their unvaccinated kids?
It is no secret that parents have been juggling a lot during the pandemic, from their own work and then having to take care of their kids.
Alexandria mother, Kara Roney, who is vaccinated, wants to take her 10-month-old son to daycare. However, now she feels uncomfortable after learning not all staff want to get the shot.
"Honestly, very nervous, and very apprehensive especially as we look towards the fall and being concerned about the Delta Variant and increase in cases in this area. It seems that children are more impacted by the delta variant and I want to keep this tethered to reality, I know that children are still likely a low risk for serious illness, but when it’s your child, no risk is too small," said Roney.
At this time, her baby boy goes to the Madison School. They tell FOX 5 that 19 of their 20 staff at their Old Town location are vaccinated. On top of that, teachers, staff, parents, and kids 2 and older must wear a mask on their property regardless of their vaccination status.
The COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory by law, but the Madison School is encouraging its employees to get the shot. That aligns with the CDC’s guidance.
However, the uncertainty of not knowing if someone is carrying the virus still worries her.
"Imagine being a first-time mom and you’re dropping your child off at daycare for the very first time and it’s a little baby – six months old – and you’re not allowed go into the room to see where that child is spending what now a majority of their week. It’s incredibly challenging as parents to go through this time and that’s not unique to me," said Roney.
Toni Wilson is also a mother in Alexandria. On top of that, she is pregnant with her second child and an elementary school teacher.
She takes her two-year-old son to Deba Daycare in Annandale, VA where they require all of her employees to get vaccinated.
On the phone, the owner told FOX 5’s Sierra Fox that it is mandatory at her business because right now, kids are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and she wants to make sure all children are protected. At this time, only people who are 12-years-old and up can get the shot.
Wilson said she understands parents' fear when it comes to their children’s daycare provider or teacher not being protected, but says some – like herself – have health concerns.
"The reason I am not vaccinated at the moment is because when the vaccination came out for us available for teachers I was undergoing an IVF cycle and with that being said, I was unsure about it so I did not get the vaccination then and then my IVF cycle worked, I’m currently pregnant, and I feel like I’m unsure about it," said Wilson.
She wants to make it clear, she is not anti-vaccine and will consider getting it after her pregnancy.
Alexandria Health Department sent FOX 5 this statement in regards to COVID-19 protocols for daycare programs:
"At this time there is no blanket requirement for every school and daycare. Each individual entity makes their own requirements for employees so parents could contact the program directly and ask what their policy is."
In the meantime, Roney is debating whether or not taking her child to daycare is worth it and she wants to see it become mandatory for employees working with young children to get the shot.