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

Concerns about vaccine safety and effectiveness pose barriers to immunization

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FRIDAY, Aug. 5, 2022 (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 Aug. 3 in JAMA Network Open.

Aaron M. Scherer, Ph.D., from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues surveyed 2,031 U.S. 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 percent) indicated they intended ("definitely" or "probably") to get their child a COVID-19 vaccine at some point, but only one-fifth (19 percent) intended to do so within three 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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