HealthDay News — Many parents do not intend to vaccinate their youngest child for COVID-19, according to one report published online July 17 in The Journal of Pediatrics and a second report published online July 23 in Vaccine.

Chloe A. Teasdale, Ph.D., from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy in New York City, and colleagues surveyed 2,074 U.S. parents of children ages 12 years and younger from March 9 through April 2, 2021, to examine the intention to vaccinate the youngest child in the household for COVID-19. The researchers found that 49.4 percent of the parents surveyed intended to vaccinate the youngest child in their household when a pediatric vaccine is approved; 25.6 and 25.0 percent said they would not and were unsure, respectively. The primary reasons for vaccine hesitancy/resistance were safety or effectiveness concerns and lack of need.

In a second study, Teasdale and colleagues surveyed 1,119 parents and caregivers of children ages 12 years and younger in New York City from March 9 to April 11, 2021. The researchers found that 61.9 percent of the parents surveyed reported plans to vaccinate their youngest child for COVID-19, while 14.8 and 23.3 percent said they do not plan to vaccinate their child and were unsure, respectively. The likelihood of reporting plans to vaccinate children was lowest for female and non-Hispanic Black parents. The primary reasons for vaccine hesitancy/resistance were safety, effectiveness, and perceptions that children do not need vaccination.


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“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,” Teasdale said in a statement.

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