More than one-fourth of Texas parents said they are not planning for their child to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which has been approved for kids as young as 5 years old, according to a new poll.
A new survey conducted by The Dallas Morning News and University of Texas at Tyler found that 28 percent of Texas parents with a child older than 5 years and younger than 18 said they will not get them vaccinated against the coronavirus. An additional 9 percent of parents added that they will “probably not” get their child vaccinated, according to the poll.
The latest survey comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended earlier this month that children ages 5 to 11 should receive Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine. Children 12 and older have been approved for the vaccine since May.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky called the latest decision “monumental” and said it could help children return to a level of normalcy during the pandemic.
“Today is a monumental day in the course of this pandemic,” Walensky said this month.”There are children in the second grade who have never experienced a normal school year. Pediatric vaccination has the power to help us change all of that.”
According to government data, there have been more than 8,300 hospitalizations of kids ages 5 to 11, and a third of those cases have required intensive care. The CDC has also recorded at least 94 deaths in that age group.
The pediatric vaccine contains 10 micrograms of RNA—a third of the 30 microgram dose given to adolescents and adults—and has been proven to be more than 90 percent effective at blocking symptomatic disease, according to CBS News. The CDC suggests that if younger children are vaccinated at a similar rate as adolescents, some 600,000 coronavirus cases could be prevented through March.
Nonetheless, parents in Texas and across the country have since expressed skepticism in getting their younger children vaccinated. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll from last month, four in 10 parents with children between 5 and 11 plan to “wait a while to see how it is working” before vaccinating their kids.
The Dallas Morning News/UT Tyler poll also found that so far, only 27 percent of Texas parents have gotten their children vaccinated. However, when asked what sources of information is most important as they consider vaccinating their children, the poll found that more than 50 percent of parents said keeping tracking of information from the CDC, FDA and pediatricians is best.
The survey was conducted from November 9 to November 16 and surveyed 1,106 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
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