November 24, 2021 – As vaccines among children aged 5 to 11, a significant number of parents say they do not want their children to be immunized.
In a survey of WebMD readers, 49% of respondents who have children in this age group say they don’t want their sons and daughters to get COVID-19 vaccine.
On November 2, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, approved the recommendation of an agency advisory committee that children aged 5 to 11 be vaccinated with Pfizer vaccine. The move extended vaccine recommendations to approximately 28 million children in the United States.
Immunizations among newly eligible 5-11 year olds have steadily increased after a somewhat slow start. At first, the pace was lower than 12 to 15 year olds throughout the first week of eligibility, but it has since closed the gap, based on data from the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker.
In total, just over 3 million children aged 5 to 11 received at least one dose, representing 10.7% of the total population in this age group.
CDC said that the Pfizer vaccine was over 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 infection in children 5 to 15 years old, and that the immune response in children 5 to 15 years old was equal to the immune response in children aged 5 to 15. people aged 16 to 25.
Of those polled in the entire WebMD survey, 56% said they were confident or somewhat confident that the vaccine is safe for this age group.
In adolescents and young adults, rare cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been reported. According to the CDC, “[I]In one study, the risk of myocarditis after the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech in the week following vaccination was approximately 54 cases per million doses given to men aged 12 to 17 years.
The known and potential benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the risks, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis, the CDC said.
Concerns also among doctors and nurses
A follow-up survey of doctors and nurses on Medscape, WebMD’s sister site for healthcare professionals, also revealed significant hesitation about childhood vaccines.
Among doctors who have children in this age group, 30% of respondents said they would not like their children to be vaccinated; 9% were not sure. For advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), 45% said they did not want their children to receive the COVID-19 vaccine; 13% were not sure. Among pharmacists, 31% said they would not get them vaccinated and 9% were unsure.
How safe is the vaccine?
Clinicians were asked how sure they were the vaccine was safe for this age group, and 66% of doctors, 52% of nurses / APRNs, and 66% of pharmacists said they were somewhat or very confident .
Regardless of the type of clinician, women outperformed their male counterparts in terms of confidence in the safety of the vaccine: 71% vs. 65% among physicians, 55% vs. 45% among nurses / APRNs, and 68% vs. 60 % among pharmacists.
Among physicians and nurses, younger physicians (under 45) tended to have more confidence in the safety of the vaccine: 72% vs. 64% (physicians), 54% vs. 51% (nurses / APRN ) and 71% against 59% (pharmacists).
The difference in confidence was clear between vaccinated and unvaccinated physicians. All unvaccinated doctors who responded to the survey said they had no confidence in the vaccine for children. Among the unvaccinated