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To Vaccinate Or Not To Vaccinate The Young?

40% of parents are uneasy about vaccinating their children with the COVID vaccine.

Baby being injected by a vaccine
Credit: Getty images

Even as the experts warn that the pandemic is far from over, Covid-19 seems to have fallen low in priority for most Americans. In the IBD/TIPP Poll conducted last month, of 1,320 adults, only 5% of those surveyed considered the pandemic-causing Coronavirus to be the most important issue facing the country.

As life limps back to resemble pre-pandemic schedules and norms, the reports of herd immunity and vaccine mandates that divided the nation seem to have taken a backseat.

The IBD/TIPP Poll found that vaccination numbers have held relatively steady over the past several months. Still, close to a quarter of the population remains unvaccinated, with the vaccine resisters making up for much of the numbers.

The overall vaccine status reads:

  • 70% Vaccinated
  • 24% Not vaccinated
  • 20% Vaccine resisters
  • 3% Did not answer

With the issue of pediatric vaccines set to come up before the FDA on June 14-15, we posed questions regarding the same to our poll participants.

A quarter (26%) of our survey respondents had a child or grandchild aged between 6 months to 5 years. When asked, “How comfortable are you with vaccinating the child with a Covid vaccine?” 40% expressed uneasiness and 56% responded in favor. The data reads:

  • 56% Comfortable
  • 40% Not comfortable
  • 4% Not sure
IBD/TIPP Poll Results conducted 5/5-5/6 How comfortable are are americans in vaccinating their kids?

The data further reveals that

  • While in the Northeast, 70% were in favor of vaccinating young children, in the Midwest, half, 50%, were not comfortable with the proposal.
  • While among Blacks and Hispanics, 70% were comfortable with the children getting the shot, only 53% of the Whites were of the same opinion.
  • While 63% of those earning 50-75K and 76% of those in the above 75K income brackets were for children getting vaccinated, 58% of those earning less than 30K were against it.
  • While 69% of urbanites are for vaccinating children, 60% of rural folk are against the proposal.

Vaccines and mandates had become a political issue in the country. The sentiments apparently carry over to the question of Covid-19 pediatric vaccines. The percentage in favor, based on political affiliation, reads:

  • 81% Democrats
  • 39% Republicans
  • 40% Independents

The side effects of the Covid-19 vaccines could be one factor that is making parents and grandparents take a cautious approach. Though the two pharmaceutical giants, Pfizer and Moderna, have not put out a complete list of adverse reactions and side effects of their vaccine, the questions have been raised in many circles.

When the survey participants were asked if they knew of any acquaintances, friends, or family members who had serious adverse side effects to a Covid vaccine, almost a quarter answered in the affirmative. The numbers, though not alarming, were still significant.

  • 24% Yes
  • 76% No

But when asked if they knew of any acquaintances, friends, or family members who had had adverse side effects to a Covid vaccine, though not a serious one, the numbers painted a different picture.

  • 35% Yes
  • 65% No
IBD/TIPP Poll Results How many americans know of aquaintances friends or family who experienced side effects to Covid19 vaccine

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vaccinating young children, even those who have been infected. For now, healthcare providers are relying on voluntary vaccination rather than pushing the issue. With the vaccine’s effectiveness at preventing an infection hovering at around 12%, it is possible that pediatric vaccination numbers will be slow on the uptick. It is unlikely that the Biden administration will repeat the vaccine mandate that caused much division in the country unless infection numbers soar to previous year’s highs.

Louisiana and California have issued vaccine mandates for schoolchildren across the state that will go into effect if the FDA approves. The question is, will other states follow their lead, and what impact it will have on school-going children in the coming months?


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