About 18% of American parents with children under the age of five intend to vaccinate them. “immediately” once regulators authorize the use of Covid-19 vaccines for the age group, a new survey released on Wednesday shows. Children under the age of five remain the only age group not yet eligible for vaccination in the US.
The survey was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization, in April.
Of those surveyed, 27% said they “definitely not” vaccinate their child, while another 11% said they would do so only if legally required. Some 38% said they plan to wait and see how vaccines really work in children under five before making a decision. More than half of parents said they still don’t have enough information about the safety and efficacy of vaccines for their age group.
“The lack of available information may be a factor in parents’ reluctance to vaccinate their younger children right away. Most parents of children under the age of five say they don’t have enough information about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines for children in this age group.” KFF noted, adding that “Most parents of older children feel better informed, with three-quarters of parents of teenagers and two-thirds of parents of children ages 5-11 saying they have enough information.”
The survey comes as major US vaccine manufacturers move closer to approving their vaccines for pediatric use. In late April, Moderna said it had asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to license its coronavirus vaccine for children under the age of six, becoming the first manufacturer to do so. The company is expected to finish submitting its data to the regulator on May 9.
“I think for these young children, they really represent an unmet medical need,” Moderna’s chief medical officer, Paul Burton, told ABC News last week. “I am hopeful that the review will continue quickly and rigorously, but if it passes, it will be made available to these young children as quickly as possible.”
Pfizer said Tuesday that it plans to submit data on its three-dose pediatric vaccine to the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in late May or early June. The company said it expects regulators to consider approving the injection soon after.
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