HealthDay News — Parental intent to vaccinate children against COVID-19 and perceptions of vaccine safety and effectiveness decreased during a 3-month period, according to research published in the September 2 issue of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Karen Lutrick, PhD, MPH, from the University of Arizona Health Sciences in Tucson, and colleagues examined changes in parental perceptions toward COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination for children aged younger than 5 years during July 2021 to May 2022. Data were included for 393 parents who participated in a baseline survey.

The researchers found that 64, 19, and 10% of parents reported that they were likely, unsure, and unlikely, respectively, to vaccinate their child aged younger than 5 years with the COVID-19 vaccine. Three months after the baseline survey, the odds of parents intending to vaccinate their children was lower than at baseline. During the same period, compared with baseline, parents were also less likely to perceive the COVID-19 vaccines as effective and safe. In unadjusted models, intent to vaccinate and perception of safety increased six months after the baseline survey; after adjustment for receipt of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result before survey completion and other variables, the results were no longer significant.

“Enhanced efforts to identify and address parental barriers to and increase confidence in COVID-19 vaccination in children aged <5 years are needed, including educating parents about the effectiveness and safety of COVID-19 vaccination in this population,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Janssen.

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