HealthDay News — Only 18 percent of parents of children younger than 5 years say they plan to get their child vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they can, while nearly four in 10 say they will “wait and see” before getting shots for their child, a new U.S. survey reveals.
Nearly three in 10 (27 percent) said they would “definitely not” get their child vaccinated and 11 percent said they would do so only if required, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation Vaccine Monitor survey released Wednesday. More than half of parents with children younger than 5 years said they “don’t have enough information about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines for children in this age group.” About 13 percent of parents said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration delay in authorizing a vaccine for this age group made them less confident about its safety, while 22 percent said it made them more confident.
Responses from parents of older children were similar to those with young children. Among parents of children ages 5 to 11 years, 39 percent said their children were already vaccinated, while 32 percent said their children would definitely not be vaccinated. Among parents of children ages 12 to 17 years, the rates were 56 and 31 percent, respectively.
Concerns about not having enough information about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for their children were expressed by 34 percent of parents of children ages 5 to 11 years and 25 percent of parents of children ages 12 to 17 years.
More than 80 percent of all parents in the survey said they felt their child was very or somewhat safe from COVID-19 while at school, but the rate was higher among White parents (52 percent) than among Black and Hispanic parents (one-third).
When it came to school mask mandates, the percentage of parents who said that their child was required to wear a mask at school fell from 69 percent in September to 16 percent in April. Still, “parents who are Black or Hispanic are more than twice as likely as White parents to say their child usually wears a mask (70 versus 26 percent) and five times as likely to say that most other students at their child’s school wear masks (9 versus 47 percent),” according to the survey authors.