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4 May, 2022 17:40

Survey reveals parents’ stance on Covid vax for children

27% said they will “definitely not” vaccinate their children
Survey reveals parents’ stance on Covid vax for children

Around 18% of US parents with children under five years old intend to have them vaccinated “right away” once regulators authorize the use of Covid-19 shots for the age group, a new survey released on Wednesday shows. Children under five remain the only age group still not eligible for vaccination in the US.

The survey was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), a San Francisco-headquartered non-profit, in April.

Of those surveyed, 27% said they would “definitely not” have their child vaccinated, while another 11% said they would do so only if legally required. Around 38% said they plan to wait and see how the vaccines actually work on children under five before making a decision. More than half of parents said they still do not have enough information on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines for the age group.

“Lack of available information may be a factor in parents’ reluctance to get their youngest children vaccinated right away. A majority of parents of children under five say they don’t have enough information about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines for children in this age group,” KFF noted, adding that “most parents of older children feel better informed, with three-quarters of parents of teens and two-thirds of parents of kids ages 5-11 saying they have enough information.”

The survey comes as the leading US vaccine makers are getting closer to having their shots approved for pediatric use. In late April, Moderna said it had asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize its coronavirus vaccine for children under six, becoming the first manufacturer to do so. The company is expected to finish submitting its data to the regulator by May 9. 

“I think for these little children, they really represent an unmet medical need,” the chief medical officer for Moderna, Paul Burton, told ABC News last week. “I would be hopeful that the review will go on quickly and rigorously – but if it’s approvable, this will be made available to these little children as quickly as possible.”

Pfizer said on Tuesday it plans to submit data on its three-dose pediatric vaccine to the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by late May or early June. The company said it expects the regulators to consider the shot’s approval shortly afterwards.