American Parents’ Views Are Changing About Vaccines, Survey Finds

A new survey found that more parents were willing to vaccinate their children in mid-September than were willing to do so in July, a change that coincided with the reopening of schools amid a wave of hospitalizations and deaths caused by the virus. highly contagious Delta.

The latest monthly survey on attitudes to vaccines from the Kaiser Family Foundation also found that roughly one in four American parents report that one of their children had to be quarantined at home due to possible exposure to Covid-19 since the beginning of the school year. .

That’s even when two-thirds of parents say they feel their school is taking appropriate steps to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The report suggests that many parents are in conflict over what courses of action will keep their children healthy and educated.

The survey found that 58 percent of parents say schools should have full mask requirements, 35 percent say there should be no mask mandate, and 4 percent believe only unvaccinated students and staff they should be forced to wear masks, according to the report. . The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all elementary and middle school students, teachers, and staff members wear masks.

Kaiser conducted a nationally representative survey of 1,519 people from September 13-22 – a time of increasing Covid deaths – and it was completed for the most part before Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their vaccine it was safe and effective for children ages 5 to 11. Currently, no vaccine is licensed in the United States for children under 12 years of age. Of all the people surveyed, 414,349 identified themselves as parents of children 17 years of age or younger and were included in the analysis of parental responses.

The Pfizer vaccine, already in use for older children and adults, was licensed in mid-May for children ages 12 to 15, and the report suggests that over time, Parents of children in that age group and older are becoming more and more comfortable with it.. At the time of the September interviews, 48 ​​percent said their children between the ages of 12 and 17 had received at least one dose, up from 41 percent in July. According to federal data, 57 percent of that age group have received at least one dose.

And perhaps driven by a constellation of factors, including the increasing number of children hospitalized due to the Delta variant In addition to seeing vaccinated older children stay healthy, parents of children ages 5 to 11 are also increasingly reporting that they are in favor of the vaccine.

Thirty-four percent of those parents now say they will vaccinate their children as soon as they can, up from 26 percent in July.

Notably, the proportion of parents of 5- to 17-year-olds who insist they will “definitely not” vaccinate their children has barely moved in months, suggesting that they will be the hardest to persuade. In April, 22 percent of parents in the older cohort, ages 12 to 17, said they would definitely not allow their children to receive vaccinations; in September, 21 percent reported having the same opinion. Parents of younger children are just as inflexible: In July, 25 percent said the position “definitely not,” and in September, 24 percent did.

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