Over 40% of Parents Give a Hard No to COVID Vaccines for Babies, Toddlers

Over 40% of Parents Give a Hard No to COVID Vaccines for Babies, Toddlers

July 27, 2022 0 By Jennifer Walker

Over four in 10 parents said they will “definitely not” be vaccinating their young children for COVID-19 in a recent poll.

About a month after FDA granted emergency use authorization for the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for children 6 months to 4 years of age, 43% parents said in July that they will not be getting their children in that age range vaccinated — up from previous months in the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor Poll.

This response was more common among Republicans or Republican-leaning parents (64%) and unvaccinated parents (64%), Lunna Lopes, senior survey analyst at KFF, and colleagues reported.

Those who decided to not vaccinate their children most commonly cited concerns over the “newness” of the vaccine and a lack of testing, potential side effects, and worries about the overall safety of the vaccine. One in ten parents claimed that their child does not need the vaccine, and that they are not worried about COVID-19.

Concerns differed by racial groups, with access to healthcare playing an important role. Over four out of 10 Black parents with unvaccinated children from 6 months to 4 years cited concerns over needing to take time off work to get their child vaccinated or to care for them if they experience side effects. For Hispanic parents of unvaccinated children, 45% reported concerns over being able to get their child vaccinated at a place they trust.

Seven out of 10 parents of young vaccine candidates said they have never spoken to a pediatrician about the COVID vaccine. Of parents considering the vaccine for their child, 70% said they would wait until their child’s next regular check-up to discuss it with their pediatrician.

Lopes and colleagues noted that these check-ups present pediatricians an opportunity to provide information and guidance to parents concerned about the vaccine.

The survey was conducted from July 7 to July 17 via the internet and telephone from a nationally representative sample of 1,847 U.S. adults. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish.

Nationally representative probability-based panel members were recruited randomly via invitation in the mail by randomly selected addresses or via random digit dial. Weighting parameters included sex, age, race/ethnicity, education, and region. Civic engagement and internet use were also weighted, according to the investigators.

The margin of sampling error was plus or minus four percentage points. As with any poll, results may be subject to unmeasured errors and biases.

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    James Lopilato is a staff writer for Medpage Today. He covers a variety of topics being explored in current medical science research.