The Phoenix Flyer

New survey: Some FL parents remain hesitant to get their kids vaccinated

By: - August 16, 2021 2:46 pm

COVID-19. Credit: Adobe Stock

Parents across the nation who have yet to get their children COVID-19 vaccines cited reasons including potential side effects, lack of research on vaccines for children, and lack of concern about the new coronavirus, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Two parents in Florida were among many surveyed who said their children have not been vaccinated. Among that group, one of the top reasons included “that not enough is known about the vaccines or wanting more research on the vaccines in children.”

Kaiser didn’t include the names of those parents but documented their responses. The survey is part of a research project conducted called the “COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor,” tracking public opinion and experiences related to vaccines.

The findings come amid controversy in Florida over vaccine and mask requirements for schoolchildren, with Gov. Ron DeSantis threatening to withhold salaries of school officials who ignore his order allowing parents and guardians to opt out their kids from wearing masks.

When asked, ‘What is the main reason your child has not gotten a COVID-19 vaccine?” a white mother in Florida said, “Potential side effects outweigh risk of even contracting COVID,” according to the survey. She added that her child “will definitely” not get vaccinated.

“I haven’t really been concerned about her getting the virus and she hasn’t really been concerned about getting it,” another white Florida mom said, adding that she “will only get child vaccinated if required.”

A Black father in Arkansas who hasn’t gotten a vaccine for his child said he doesn’t trust the shots. “Too many that’s not trustworthy involved,” he said. He added that his kid is “definitely not” getting vaccinated.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for adolescents aged 12-17 — the only vaccine available for that age group — as of July 30.

CDC data show that 69.8 percent of Americans ages 12 and older have received at least one COVID vaccine dose as of Sunday.

In the survey, most parents with 12-17-year-olds said their kid had received at least one dose of the vaccine as of July.

Forty-one percent of the respondents said their kid had received at least one dose, compared to 23 percent of parents who said they want to “wait and see how the vaccine is working.”

However, 20 percent said they will “definitely not” get their child vaccinated. Only 6 percent of parents surveyed said they plan to get their child vaccinated “right away.” And 9 percent of parents said their child will only get vaccinated if their school mandates it.

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Issac Morgan
Issac Morgan

Issac Morgan is a 2009 graduate of Florida A&M University's School of Journalism, and a proud native of Tallahassee. He has covered city council and community events at the Gadsden County Times, worked as a sports news assistant at the Tallahassee Democrat, a communications specialist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and as a proofreader at the Florida Law Weekly.