Many Parents on the Fence Regarding COVID-19 Vaccination for Their Kids

By Reuters Staff

September 10, 2021

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Less than half of U.S. parents say they are likely to have their child vaccinated against COVID-19, according to results of a large survey.

Among the 1,745 parents responding to the survey, published in Pediatrics, only 28% were very likely and 18% were somewhat likely to get their child vaccinated against COVID-19.

Nine percent of parents were somewhat unlikely and 33% were very unlikely to vaccinate their child and 12% were unsure, report Dr. Peter G. Szilagyi of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues.

Parental concerns centered around vaccine safety and side effects.

The likelihood of child vaccination was significantly greater among parents of older children, as well as among more educated parents and those who had already had the vaccine or were likely to get it.

Parents named the child's healthcare provider as a key trusted source of information about COVID-19 vaccines for children.

However, less than half of parents said they trust their local health department, federal health officials and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), or the vaccine approval and development process.

Political affiliation was strongly related to a parent's intent to get their child vaccinated, with Democratic-affiliated parents far more likely to get their child vaccinated.

Despite high levels of vaccine hesitancy, "an encouraging finding" is that many parents say they will take a "wait and see" approach and may become more interested in the vaccines as results of pediatric vaccine trials are released, the authors say.

"Vaccine hesitancy is a major public health concern worldwide. Approximately 6% of US parents are hesitant about routine childhood vaccines other than influenza vaccine, 26% are hesitant about the influenza vaccine, and 23% are hesitant about the human papillomavirus vaccine," they note.

"Pediatric health care providers have a major role in promoting and giving COVID-19 vaccination for children," they conclude.

The study had no commercial funding and the authors have indicated no relevant conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/2X2Een0 Pediatrics, online September 9, 2021.

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