Jul 7, 2022 - News

Vaccines for toddlers are off to a slow start in Washington

Illustration of a bandaid made out of lego blocks.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In the first two weeks that COVID-19 vaccines were available for the youngest children, only 3.3% of kids under age 5 in Washington got the shot, according to the latest data from the state health department.

  • The new vaccines can be administered to children as young as six months.

What they’re saying: According to the health department, a large percentage of parents are not particularly eager to get their young kids vaccinated.

What they’re saying: “In terms of rates of vaccination for this age group, we do expect the uptick to be slow,” a spokesperson for the health department wrote in an email to Axios.

  • That’s based partly on recent surveys of parents with slightly older children, which found a large percentage of parents were hesitant to vaccinate their kids.

What we’re watching: Getting an appointment isn’t always easy, so some parents may have had to book appointments for their kids several days or weeks out.

  • Many of those children aren’t reflected in the vaccination numbers at this point.

Of note: The health department spokesperson said parents who are looking to get their children inoculated should keep in touch with their primary care doctors about vaccine availability.

  • The state’s Vaccine Locator and vaccine hotline (1-833-VAX-HELP) can also help.
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