Most Parents Not Eager to Vaccinate Young Children Against COVID-19

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Concerns about vaccine safety and effectiveness pose barriers to immunization

HealthDay News — Less than half of parents of children ages 6 months to 4 years are eager to quickly vaccinate their children against COVID-19, according to a study published online August 3 in JAMA Network Open.

Aaron M. Scherer, PhD, from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues surveyed 2031 US adults with children ages 6 months through 4 years to understand parents’ intentions regarding, concerns about, and facilitators to COVID-19 vaccination.

The researchers found that just under half of parents (45.6%) indicated they intended (“definitely” or “probably”) to get their child a COVID-19 vaccine at some point, but only one-fifth (19%) intended to do so within 3 months of their child’s eligibility. Top concerns included vaccine safety and efficacy, while receiving more information about safety and efficacy were the top facilitators. The most trusted COVID-19 vaccination locations for this age group include a doctor’s office or clinic and local pharmacy.

“Considerable efforts to increase parental COVID-19 vaccine confidence for children aged 6 months through 4 years may be needed to maximize COVID-19 vaccination for this age group in the United States,” the authors write.

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