Jul 26, 2022 - Health

Parents of young children hold out on COVID vaccines

Illustration of a band-aid with a question mark pattern

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

More than four in 10 parents of young children say they will definitely not vaccinate them against COVID-19, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s latest vaccine monitor survey.

The big picture: It’s the first measure of parents’ sentiment since the FDA in June authorized two COVID-19 vaccines for use in children from 6 months to 4 years old.

Findings: Only 7% of parents of children in that age range say they’ve already gotten them a vaccine.

  • A quarter of respondents said they want to “wait and see” how it works in other young children, while one in eight said they would only get their child vaccinated if it were required for school or child care.
  • 70% of parents surveyed said they haven’t spoken to their pediatrician or another health care provider about getting the vaccine for their child.

Go deeper: Large majorities of parents with unvaccinated children in the age range said they’re worried about serious side effects from the vaccine (81%), not enough is known about the vaccine’s long-term effects on children (81%) and the vaccine won’t protect their child from getting sick from the virus (70%).

  • There’s a predictable partisan divide, with a larger share of parents who are or lean Democratic (15%) saying they’ve already gotten their newly eligible child vaccinated than parents who are or lean Republican (3%).
  • Republican parents are three times as likely than Democratic parents to say they will “definitely not” get their child vaccinated (64% versus 21%).
  • The survey of 1,847 adults was conducted between June 7 and 17.

Our thought bubble: The findings could be sobering to school officials weighing vaccine mandates for the coming academic year.

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