Poll: Parents split on vaccinating kids younger than 12

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — One group is left when it comes to qualifying for the coronavirus vaccine: kids younger than 12.

Results from a newly released national poll show parents are torn.

Scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School surveyed over 2,000 parents. The division was almost identical with 51% saying it’s unlikely they will get their child vaccinated, and 49% of respondents said they likely will. These results are specific to parents of children between the ages of 3 and 11 years old.

News 8 spoke with one doctor at an Indianapolis hospital who says she’s not surprised.

“With any and every vaccine there are four different groups of families,” said Dr. Dorota A. Szczepaniak, a pediatrician at Riley Hospital for Children. “Parents who will (have their child) take a vaccine if it’s recommended; parents who will ask questions and will most likely (get their children) vaccinated; parents who will ask more questions and take time to think about it; and, about 3% to 5% of parents who say ‘no.'”

Studies show discussions with their child’s pediatrician is the No. 1 influencer when it comes to decision making. But the pediatrician, Szczepaniak says, has to be one that parents feel comfortable talking with and trust. Because of these open and honest discussions, she adds, we’ve been able to eradicate other viruses such as polio and hopefully this will be the case for COVID-19.

Each family is different, but when it comes to parents and caretakers who come see Szczepaniak and don’t want to talk about the COVID-19 vaccine for kids, she says, “With all due respect, I am going to talk about it.”

She sees it as her responsibility as a practitioner to keep parents informed regardless of what they decide when the vaccine comes to market.


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