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With the FDA paving the way for children 5-11 to get vaccinated against COVID-19, it remains to be seen whether this age group will see high vaccination rates. A new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests most parents may not be in a rush to get their kids vaccinated.
“Ahead of #COVID19 vaccines being made available to kids 5-11, their parents remain cautious,” Kaiser Family Foundation tweeted. “About 3 in 10 say their kid will get vaccinated once eligible, and 1/3 want to ‘wait and see’ – shares similar to July.”
Other findings from the Kaiser Family Foundation survey include parent concerns over school mandates and not having leave from work to get their children vaccinated.
With talk of possible school vaccine mandates, over half (53%) of parents are worried their child may be required to get vaccinated for COVID-19 even if they don’t want them to. Some parents also express concerns related to access or information-related barriers to vaccination, including larger shares of lower-income parents who are concerned about missing work to deal with children’s vaccinations (51%), having to pay out-of-pocket to get their child vaccinated (45%), not being able to get the vaccine from a trusted place (48%), or having difficulty traveling to a vaccination location (38%).
The survey also found that many parents are concerned about long-term effects, some of which have already been debunked. According to the survey, two-thirds of responding parents were worried about future fertility issues due to the vaccine.
Speaking during a town hall with the American Academy of Pediatrics on Thursday, James D. Campbell, M.D., M.S., FAAP, a member of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, called the claim that the vaccine impacted fertility a “social media hoax.” Campbell explained that someone hypothesized the vaccine could cause infertility, but there was no actual data or evidence to show a correlation.
“And boom, that’s all it took to turn this into ‘the vaccine causes infertility,’” Campbell said during the town hall.
In June, Healthline published an article addressing vaccine misinformation around fertility and older children getting the vaccine. Healthline traced the start of the COVID-19 vaccine fertility myth to a German physician who has made prior false claims. While the COVID-19 mRNA vaccinations are newer, decades of research on mRNA technology do not suggest the ability to alter fertility.
Understandably, parents of young children might be cautious before rushing to vaccinate their children. Ongoing hesitancy underscores the need for good verifiable information and having trusted sources sharing facts.
The Black Coalition Against COVID will host its town hall to help parents have information about the vaccine next Thursday, Nov. 4.