Nearly half of American parents with children under the age of 5 will not vaccinate their children against COVID, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll published Tuesday.
Only 17% of respondents said they had vaccinated their children against the disease, while 43% replied that they would not do so. A further 27% said they were waiting to see the vaccine’s long-term effects in young recipients while the remaining 13% said they would vaccinate their children, but only if schools or child care required it.
Potential side effects dominated the concerns of parents to both vaccinated and unvaccinated children alike. Among respondents who had not vaccinated their kids, 81% cited concerns about the long term effects of available vaccines. A further 79% of parents who did vaccinate their children still maintained similar concerns.
The Food and Drug Administration in June authorized COVID-19 shots from Pfizer and Moderna for children between 6 months and 5 years old.
A solid majority of 59% of parents, regardless of their children’s vaccination status, feared they may be forced to vaccinate their children despite their reservations, the poll noted.
Such concerns come as the federal government continues to push vaccine mandates for military personnel, even over religious objections. The Army, for example, has approved just 20 out of more than 8,000 religious exemption requests related to its COVID-19 vaccine mandate as of Wednesday.
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