Half of parents may not vaccinate under-12 children against COVID

under-12 children covid, parents vaccine
© Rodrigo Fernández

According to a CUNY study, only 49% of parents said they would vaccinate their under-12 child against COVID – with a further 25% saying they would not

The survey included 3,193 parents, who gave their opinions about their under-12 children taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Currently, Pfizer are readying trial data on how their COVID vaccine works on young children. They were recently approved to give the vaccine to adolescents, which has led to a mixed level of uptake across the US.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 4 million US children have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Over 300 have died.

Only 49% of parents on board

However, while adult levels of vaccine hesitancy have continued to challenge the safety of the population, it is anticipated that asking parents to vaccinate their children will bring fresh difficulties.

In one of the first US-based studies to examine just how difficult that might be, investigators from the CUNY Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health (ISPH) and the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) conducted a community-based online survey of parents of children under 12 years.

They found that, in March and April 2021, only 49% of parents would give their under-12 child the COVID vaccine. A further 26% were unsure about the decision, whilst 25% said they would definitely not vaccinate their child.

Asian parents most likely to vaccinate children

The team found that Asian parents were most likely to be happy to vaccinate their kids, while parents without a college education and on an income less than $25,000 were the most likely to be vaccine hesitant.

Because this study involved a significant amount of NYC parents, the authors found that 62% of them were planning to get the vaccine for their children, while 23% did not plan to vaccinate.

The ethnicity least likely to give the vaccine to their kid was non-Hispanic Black, with those parents less likely to report plans for vaccinating their under-12 child against COVID.

‘We can use this information’ says Assistant Professor Teasdale

“The results of our survey, suggesting that as many as half of U.S. parents do not want to vaccinate their children for Covid-19, are concerning, but we can use this information while we await pediatric vaccine approval to work on improving future uptake,” commented Assistant Professor Chloe Teasdale, lead investigator for the study.

“We should start now to develop and deliver information campaigns to help parents understand the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, as well as the real dangers to children from Covid-19 infection.”

Read the full study here.


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