Why Many Parents Don’t Want Their Kids Under 5 Vaccinated Against COVID

A new survey reveals that 43% of parents said they would not vaccinate their children under the age of 5 against COVID-19.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) conducted a recent survey, which showed that only 27% of parents of 5- to 11-year-olds are keen to immunize their children against COVID-19, but 30% will definitely not do so. One third of parents said they’ll “wait and see” before making a final decision.

Based on statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, more than 90% of US children under 24 months are inoculated against a variety of illnesses with injections, including measles, mumps, and rubella; and more than 93% have received at least 3 of the 4 polio vaccines that are recommended. About 95% of kindergarteners had received the state-mandated vaccines for the 2019-2020 school year.

What is causing parents to be hesitant when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine? A number of people respond that the answer is based on how familiar they are with the vaccines. Since the 1960s, shots to prevent measles, mumps, and rubella have been available. However, the first COVID-19 vaccine was produced last year; it’s a relatively unknown area. In contrast to parents in the 1960s, the parents of today may be constantly bombarded with social media and internet messages promoting misinformation or mistrust of vaccinations.

Why Parents Are Scared?

According to the KFF survey, too little information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine caused the greatest concern among parents with children aged 5 to 11. Not only do parents worry about the possible consequences of the COVID-19 vaccine on their children, but they worry about how it may affect themselves.

“The biggest concerns are about potential unknown long-term effects and serious side effects of the vaccine,” liz Hamel, the KFF Public Opinion and Survey Research program team director and lead author of the survey report, said. “That’s really consistent with what we saw in terms of parents’ concerns for teens, and even the concerns leading up to the vaccines being available for adults.”

However, clinical trials have shown that the vaccine is safe for young children. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and funded by BNT162b2 makers Pfizer and BioNtech, no serious adverse reactions were reported among 1517 fully vaccinated 5- to 11-year-olds. A follow-up that took a median of 2.3 months resulted in a conclusion that BNT162b2 is safe, immunogenic, and effective for the population that was studied.

Data on adolescents is also growing. After the FDA expanded BNT162b2’s EUA in May for children aged 12 to 15, 15.6 million who are aged 12 to 17 had received a dosage by early December. In an analysis of 2228 clinical trial participants aged 12 to 15 years, Pfizer and BioNTech reported that their vaccine prevented COVID-19 for at least 4 months among vaccinated youths. There is a slight increased risk of myocarditis from BNT162b2, but this condition is rare. According to the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, all eligible age groups benefit from mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, including those who may be at some risk for developing postvaccination myocarditis.

Even though we know it’s unlikely, parents are still afraid that their child will be the exception.

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