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Should parents of newborns require visitors to have the COVID-19 vaccine? Expert advice from a MetroHealth doctor

Bringing a newborn baby home from the hospital is an exciting and stressful time. Add in a pandemic and people who may want to visit. Should you let them?

CLEVELAND —
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a personal decision. But for parents of newborns it raises another question: Should they require friends and family members who want to visit their child get a COVID-19 vaccine?

This "Mom Minute Monday," 3News' Maureen Kyle talked to MetroHealth pediatrician, Dr. Susan Carlin to get some expert advice.

"If somebody has a newborn or a baby, what do you think the protocol should be when it comes to visitors and COVID at this point?" Maureen asks.

"Common sense and good precautions should continue to prevail," Dr. Carlin says. "I think that's similar to when you take any newborn home from the hospital. Large gatherings with unvaccinated people coming into the home is probably not the wisest idea."

She says this is similar to allowing visitors to see newborns and babies even   in "normal" times. 

The CDC already recommends that people close to the baby, such as parents, grandparents, caregivers and siblings, receive certain vaccines to create a "circle of protection around the baby," while their immune system develops.

"I think a lot of this is going to be about the comfort level of individual mothers, fathers and grandparents," Dr. Carlin says.

However once fully vaccinated, the doctor said she believes grandparents can visit without concern.

RELATED: CDC updates guidance on vaccinated people as vaccine rollout causes mixed emotions

"On the other hand, vaccinated grandparents are going to be very excited about seeing that new baby, and to visit the new baby in the home seems, to me, like a great idea."

Research is still being done, on whether people who are vaccinated can carry the virus. Dr. Carlin says if you have any concerns about that, you can ask the person visiting to wear a mask.

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