VaccinesLess than a Third of U.S. Parents Eager to Vaccinate Young Kids Against COVID-19

By Stephanie Soucheray

Published 29 October 2021

The latest poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that only 27 percent of parents said they were eager to get their young children vaccinated against COVID-19. Thirty percent said they would definitely not get their child vaccinated, and 33 percent said they would take a wait-and-see approach.

Only 27 percent of parentsin the latest poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation said they were eager to get their young children vaccinated against COVID-19 if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorize the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in children ages 5 to 11.

Thirty percent said they would definitely not get their child vaccinated, and 33 percent said they would take a wait-and-see approach.

Two thirds of poll respondents who said they would definitely not get their child vaccinated said they were concerned the vaccine may affect their child’s future fertility. In general, most parental hesitation surrounding the vaccine concerned unknown long-term safety side effects.

Poll respondents who had children ages 12 to 17 reported that roughly half had already been vaccinated. Seventy-two percent of adult respondents said they were fully or partially vaccinated, and 25 percent said their employers now require COVID-19 vaccination. Just 5 percent said they quit their jobs over refusal to get vaccinated.

The CDC COVID Data Tracker shows 57.5 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, 66.5 percent have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 7.6 percent of fully vaccinated people have received a booster dose.

Pfizer Pediatric Vaccine Rollout
Pfizer said Wednesday that the United States bought 50 million more doses of its vaccine in the ramp-up to pediatric vaccination, which could begin as early as next week once regulatory bodies approve its use. The new batches of doses are to be delivered by Apr 30, 2022.

We are extremely proud to provide enough doses of our vaccine to help protect every U.S. child under 12 from COVID-19, if authorized by the FDA,” said Albert Bourla, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer, in a press release.

As we await the agency’s review of our application for emergency use of the vaccine in children 5 to under 12 years of age, and clinical trial results in children under 5, we are working with the U.S. government to help ensure communities across the country have access to pediatric doses as soon as possible. The introduction of doses for young children will be another critical milestone in addressing this public health crisis.”

Pfizer said it expects clinical data in two more cohorts of young children (2 to 5 years and 6 months to 2 years) in the fourth quarter of 2021 or early in the first quarter of 2022.

In related news, USA Today reports that states are preparing to receive hundreds of thousands of doses of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 as early as next week. The Biden administration has previously said it has bought enough Pfizer vaccine to cover the 28 million American children in that age-group.

Vaccine Mandates in Flux
White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients indicated during a press briefing Wednesday that the Biden administration could be flexible as it enforces President Joe Biden’s executive order requiring federal agencies and government contractors to vaccinate their workers, the Washington Post reports. The current deadlines are Nov 22 for federal workers and Dec 8 for government contractors.

In New York, a state supreme court judge denied a request by New York City’s largest police union to block Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccine mandate from taking effect next week, according to Bloomberg. In denying the request, the judge reference a 2019 state appellate ruling that upheld a vaccine mandate for measles.

All New York City municipal workers, including police officers, are required to get one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by Nov 1.

Other U.S. Developments

·  The United States reported 76,957 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday and 2,141 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker. The 7-day average of new daily COVID-19 cases is 71,962, with 1,395 daily deaths, according to the New York Times tracker.

·  An estimated 30 million to 50 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine are sitting idle at Emergent Biosolutions and awaiting inspection by the FDA before they can be shipped, Reuters reported Wednesday. The plant was shut down in April after doses of the J&J vaccine were found to be contaminated.

Stephanie Soucheray is a news reporter for CIDRAP News. This article  is published courtesy of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy (CIDRAP).