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Report: Many parents hesitant to vaccinate young children against COVID-19

A health care worker draws a dose of COVID-19 vaccine from a vial into a syringe.
Dan Zampogna
/
Flickr Community Commons
A health care worker prepares a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

A new Kaiser Family Foundation report reveals that 43% of parents with children under 5 don’t plan to get them vaccinated against COVID-19.

There are roughly 19 million children under 5 in the United States. Yet, since the Food and Drug Administration authorized COVID-19 vaccines for that age group in June, less than 3% have received at least one dose.

A new Kaiser Family Foundation report reveals that 43% of parents say they will “definitely not” get their young children vaccinated against COVID-19. Lunna Lopes, a senior survey analyst at the foundation and lead author of the report, said parents are reluctant for a variety of reasons.

“A lot of parents actually see the vaccine as a bigger risk to their young child’s health compared to getting infected with coronavirus,” Lopes said.

More than 50% of parents surveyed fall into that category, and more than 25% of parents want to “wait and see” how it affects other children first.

Colorado has the nation’s seventh-highest share of young children who’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine at 5.6%. Other Mountain West states ranked much lower. Utah, ranked 25th, with a vaccination rate of 2.6% for that age group. New Mexico ranked 28th with a rate of 2.4%. Meanwhile, Nevada, Idaho and Wyoming each have a rate of 1.1%.

Since 2020, more than 2.7 million U.S. children under 5 have contracted COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 500 have died from the virus.


This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The photo included in this story is licensed under Flickr Creative Commons.

Kaleb is an award-winning journalist who joined KUNR as a reporter in November 2021.
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