Vaccinated and Unvaccinated
May 3, 2021 12:33 PM   Subscribe

My spouse and I are vaccinated against covid19. Our asthmatic teenagers are not. What is the risk of us getting and giving them covid if we start spending time unmasked with vaccinated friends outside? We live in the south United States.
posted by qi to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
 
There's still a lot not known about vaccinated infection rates (both symptomatic and asymptomatic) but they're pretty well established to be significantly lower than among the unvaccinated, so the combination of all parties being vaccinated and the meeting being outdoors makes transmission very unlikely (for you to get it, your vaccinated friends would have to have caught it, which is unlikely, and also transmit a sufficient viral load to you, who are also vaccinated, in an outdoor environment, which tremendously reduces the ability of viral concentrations to form).

If your teenagers are part of "we" above, though, it gets considerably riskier, just because one of those unlikelihood factors (all parties being vaccinated) is removed.
posted by jackbishop at 1:03 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


According to the CDC, vaccinated people should continue to mask up around unvaccinated people who are high risk for severe covid. However as an asthmatic, my understanding is that asthma is not a risk factor for severe Covid-19.
posted by muddgirl at 1:24 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]


Their risk is relatively low here, as outlined above, but if you're worried, Pfizer has in fact already asked the FDA for an extension down to 12 years of age, as of about a month ago (cf here for one random article on it). If their estimate of "several weeks" for approval is correct, then your teenagers might be eligible fairly soon -- so your wait if you decide to be cautious may not be much longer. (I'm assuming teenagers = older than 12 and that they have no other reason they can't get vaccinated yet).
posted by nat at 1:27 PM on May 3 [3 favorites]


Looks like the Pfizer eligibility for 12-15 year olds might be coming this week.
posted by jabes at 1:29 PM on May 3 [3 favorites]


As a counterpoint to a statement above, as of April, 2021 the CDC states that those with moderate to severe asthma can be more likely to get severely ill from Covid-19.

And here's a nice infographic about the safer way to do things with unvaccinated people.
posted by cooker girl at 1:30 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]


My spouse and I are vaccinated against covid19. Our asthmatic teenagers are not. What is the risk of us getting and giving them covid if we start spending time unmasked with vaccinated friends outside? We live in the south United States.

Extremely low.

1. Asymptomatic infection of vaccinated people is unlikely.
2. Outdoor transmission is unlikely.
3. Multiply those things together and it's very very very unlikely for you to get infected by your vaccinated friends, develop a transmissible viral load, and then pass it on to your asthmatic kids.

However, I think you're right to take care with your own exposure given that your kids are slightly higher risk. But, outside with vaccinated people is very safe.
posted by entropone at 1:57 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]


Agreeing with above, risk is extremely low.

But: one thing to keep an eye on is local disease prevalence (cases, % positives). If it's high, that's more of a chance that one of your vaccinated people would be exposed at all.
posted by Dashy at 2:14 PM on May 3


You might also check in with your teenagers. They might feel slighted if you get to socialize in ways they aren't allowed to.
posted by rikschell at 2:50 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


Exceedingly low. Even if no one was vaccinated outdoor transmission rates are actually extremely low and moderate distance and sensible behavior gets it close to zero. With either household being vaccinated that'd drive it down more, and since both of you it becomes almost mind-bogglingly small.

one thing to keep an eye on is local disease prevalence (cases, % positives).

I agree with this. I would err on the side of caution if I were in an area with many & increasing cases. A high background level increases risk on it's own, but I'd also start thinking I don't want to be on the cutting edge of a novel variant.

For me "caution" would manifest itself as limiting the number of unmasked get togethers to one or two per week and preferring walks or sitting distanced in someone's backyard, rather than feeling I needed to cut them out alltogether.
posted by mark k at 4:06 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]


(I know I'm rehashing everything there, but I like to do my research and restate things my own way)

There are two ways you *could* have carried the virus back to your home, but both are extremely unlikely.

1) You had a breakthrough infection of COVID, i.e. you are fully vacccinatedbut you still got sick from COVID anyway

2) You are an asymptomatic carrier of COVID (you have no symptoms, despite being infected). This is extremely unlikely if you are already vaccinated, and 2 weeks or however long it took for the vaccine to reach full effectiveness, has passed. Science never really say something is impossible, but this is about as improbable as anything we can expect.

Right now, CDC is getting some breakthrough infection reports. The total reported cases is less than 10000 (so far) out of 95 million fully vaccinated people. And of those, it's not really possible to infer any specific trends so far. It could be due to them catching COVID "just before" being vaccinated, or they have compromised immune systems, or other factors.

All in all, your risk is extremely low, and keep wearing those masks to keep them that way.
posted by kschang at 4:41 PM on May 3


Response by poster: Thank you for all your great answers, everyone!
posted by qi at 9:59 AM on May 4


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