On June 17, 2022, the FDA authorized emergency use of the Moderna and the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines for children down to 6 months of age. But now the moment has arrived that parents can get their young kids protected, many are choosing not to do so, with a greater share more hesitant than they were one year before.
As our chart shows, more than four in ten parents (43 percent) are not willing to get their young children vaccinated. This is up from July last year, where 30 percent of parents said they “definitely” did not want their kids to get the shot. Hesitancy or all-out rejection comes down to a number of factors. For instance, 53 percent of U.S. adults hold the belief that there’s a greater risk to children from getting the vaccine than from Covid itself. This was particularly prevalent among Republican-leaning parents, at 73 percent. Many also cited the newness of the vaccine as a concern (19 percent), as well as fears over side effects (14 percent) and the overall safety of the vaccine (13 percent). This is reflected in the fact that 27 percent of parents said they would “wait and see” what happens to others before getting their own child vaccinated.
Barriers to access also held parents back from getting their children vaccinated. According to the report, taking time off work to go to the doctors was a chief reason for parents to not get their child immunized. Meanwhile, 45 percent of Hispanic parents shared that they had concerns over not being able to get their child vaccinated at a place they trust.
The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) outlines how pediatricians could do more to better inform the public, recommending that professionals offer guidance on the topic at children’s routine checkups. This is based on a previous survey that found that 55 percent of parents thought the information on Covid by federal health agencies was confusing.