Families and experts want more guidance for unvaccinated kids as Ontario reopens

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Parents and experts say they want clearer guidance about how kids under 12 who aren't eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations fit into Ontario's reopening plan.

The province will allow more indoor activities to resume later this week but Stephen Ouderkirk says his family is sticking to outdoor social gatherings with their newborn son who can't get vaccinated.

Pediatric infectious disease physician Dr. Nisha Thampi says families with mixed vaccination status should keep following guidelines like staying home when sick and gathering outdoors where possible.

She says she'd like to see details on whether unvaccinated children will be subject to different guidelines when restrictions are eased further, and more assessment of where risks are greatest for them.

University of Toronto epidemiologist Ashleigh Tuite says young children are at risk of being left behind as restrictions roll back and says some rules like masking in public places should stay for now.

The Public Health Agency of Canada outlined activity guidelines based on people's vaccination status last month but Ontario hasn’t released guidance specific to its reopening plan.

Ontario's top doctor has said higher vaccination rates in the broader community will help protect young children by keeping infections low.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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