Over a quarter of Texas parents say they will not vaccinate their child against COVID: poll

More than a quarter of Texas parents said they do not plan for their child to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which has been approved for children as young as 5 years old, according to a new poll.

A new study conducted by Dallas Morning News and the 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 would not get them vaccinated against coronavirus. Another 9 percent of parents added that they “probably will not” get their child vaccinated, according to the poll.

The latest study comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier this month recommended that children ages 5 to 11 receive Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine. Children 12 years of age and older have been approved for the vaccine since May.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky called the recent decision “monumental” and said it could help children return to a level of normalcy during the pandemic.

“Today is a monumental day during this pandemic,” Walensky said this month. “There are children in second grade who have never experienced a normal school year. Pediatric vaccination has the power to help us change all that.”

According to government data, there have been more than 8,300 hospitalizations of children aged 5 to 11, and a third of these 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 micrograms dose given to adolescents and adults – and has been shown to be more than 90 percent effective in blocking symptomatic disease, according to CBS News. The CDC suggests that if younger children are vaccinated at the same rate as adolescents, about 600,000 cases of coronavirus can be prevented through March.

Nevertheless, parents in Texas and across the country have since expressed skepticism about getting their younger children vaccinated. According to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation last month, four out of 10 parents with children between the ages of 5 and 11 plan to “wait a while to see how it works” before vaccinating their children.

Dallas Morning News/ UT Tyler study also showed that so far, only 27 percent of Texas parents have had their children vaccinated. However, when asked what sources of information are most important when considering vaccinating their children, the study found that more than 50 percent of parents said it is best to keep track of information from the CDC, FDA and pediatricians.

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.

Over a quarter of Texas parents said they will not get their child vaccinated against COVID-19. Here, a child receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from pharmacist Andrew Mac in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, on May 13th.
JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP / Getty Images

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