Caution among some parents about shots for young children has slowed state vaccination efforts, posing new challenges for health officials, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).
Enthusiasm and hesitancy: Approximately 18% of 5- to 11-year-olds in the United States have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine in the five weeks since vaccines for children were approved. However, the pace of vaccinations has slowed significantly after initial enthusiasm.
Highs and lows: “The picture varies by region, with rates in several New England states above 30% and some states in the South far off the national pace.… Vermont leads the U.S. with at least 47% of its children in the 5-to-11 bracket having received a shot, the Journal analysis of the federal data shows. Vermont, where nearly 84% of adults are fully vaccinated, has long been a fast adopter of COVID-19 vaccines. Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island also are high on the list for young children, as they are with adults. Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi have started slowly with children in the 5-to-11 age group, echoing the South’s broader vaccine-uptake trends.”
Survey says: According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 3 in 10 parents with children in this age bracket have either taken their children to receive their vaccinations or indicated plans to do so; 32% said they’d wait and see; 7% said they would only if they are required; and 29% said they wouldn’t.
Get vaxxed: Infectious disease experts encourage vaccines for children, noting that while the impact of COVID-19 on children appears to be milder, children can fall seriously ill. For more information on vaccines—for your kids, for yourself or for other people in your community—check out the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute’s This Is Our Shot project.