A COVID vaccine for little kids may be available soon and that could help end the pandemic, according to public health leaders … but only if parents actually get them vaccinated. And a new survey suggests many of those moms and dads are hesitant. The poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds the majority of parents don’t plan to get their kids vaccinated right away.
Advisors to the CDC are meeting next week about whether they should recommend the Pfizer vaccine for five- to 11-year-olds. Around 28-million kids would be eligible for it and pharmacies and pediatricians are getting ready to give their shots, but only 27% of parents surveyed say they’ll vaccinate their kid as soon as the vaccine is available. The fact that Pfizer shows its vaccine is safe and 90.7% effective against symptomatic COVID in younger kids doesn’t seem to be persuading parents to let their kids get it, at least not immediately.
The FDA has also said that the benefits of vaccinating younger kids appear to outweigh the risks, but parents in the survey are still most concerned about vaccine safety:
- About 76% say they’re “very” or “somewhat” concerned about long-term side effects.
- And 71% say they’re worried about serious side effects.
- Around 66% of parents report concerns about the vaccine’s effects on a kid’s future fertility (although there is no evidence that any of the COVID vaccines cause fertility problems, according to theCDC.)
While 30% of parents surveyed are saying a hard no to getting their child vaccinated, another third say they’re going to “wait and see” how it works in other kids first.Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on CNN this week, reminding parents, “It would be a good idea to vaccinate the children.”