Story at a glance

  • The Washington Post-ABC News poll found 46 percent of parents believe the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for children age 5 to 17.
  • Fifty-two percent said they are “not at all” or “not so” confident in the safety or efficacy of the vaccine in children.
  • The survey comes less than two weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) signed off on COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 5.

A new poll suggests more than half of parents in the U.S. are skeptical about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines for children as eligibility recently opened to kids 5 to 11. 

The Washington Post-ABC News survey found that just under half, or 46 percent, of parents with a child under 18 said they were either very or somewhat confident that the coronavirus vaccines are safe for children ages 5 to 17, while 47 percent said they were confident the vaccines are effective at preventing serious illness and death for the age group. 

Meanwhile, 52 percent of parents polled were not so sure. The poll found 41 percent of respondents said they are “not at all” confident that the vaccines are safe for children in that age group, and 11 percent saying they are “not so” confident. Fifty-two percent also said they were “not at all” or “not so” confident of the vaccine's efficacy. 

The poll was conducted Nov. 7-10 among 1,001 adults, including 240 parents with children under 18. 


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The survey comes less than two weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) signed off on Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 5. The White House last week announced at least 900,000 children between the ages of 5 and 11 are estimated to have received their first COVID-19 shot within the first week of eligibility. 

A similar poll taken prior to the authorization found a large share of parents aren’t planning to get their kids vaccinated right away. 

The Kaiser Family Foundation found that just less than 3 in 10 parents, or 27 percent, said they plan to vaccinate their young children immediately once a vaccine is authorized.

The Kaiser survey found 76 percent of parents said they are either “very” or “somewhat” concerned that there’s not enough known about the long term effects of the vaccine in children, while 71 percent said they’re concerned their child might experience serious side effects. 


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Published on Nov 15, 2021