1 in 4 Parents Won’t Vaccinate Their Kids Against COVID

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay reporter

THURSDAY April 1, 2021 (HealthDay News) – More than a quarter of American parents do not plan to vaccinate their children against COVID-19, and about as many oppose the coronavirus vaccines required by school, according to a new study.

This opposition was more common among moms than dads, and was especially common among white mothers who identified as Republican / Republican, the researchers said.

“Women tend to serve as managers of family health within the family, so they are generally more likely than men to follow expert medical recommendations to avoid health risks,” said study co-author Jessica Calarco. She is professor of sociology at Indiana University at Bloomington.

“However, with the onslaught of disinformation around the coronavirus, the pressure on women to control risks may lead them to disproportionately oppose new efforts to promote public health,” Calarco said in a report. university press release.

The study looked at a survey of nearly 2,000 American parents and interviews from Calarco’s Pandemic Parenting Study. It included 64 mothers of various political, economic and racial backgrounds.

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Preliminary results have been published on the pre-print server SocArXiv and have not been peer reviewed.

In all, 34% of mothers said they did not plan to vaccinate their children against COVID-19. This number was higher for white mothers who identified as Republican or Republican-leaning (47%).

However, only 17% of fathers said they did not plan to vaccinate their children, according to the results.

The survey also found that, overall, 33% of mothers oppose mandatory coronavirus vaccinations at school, including 54% of Republican and Republican-leaning white mothers. That compared to one in five dads.

Calarco said she was surprised at the gender disparity, as women typically seek advice from medical experts.

“In the United States, we expect people to take responsibility for their health by avoiding health risks. Mothers, in particular, face great pressure to control the health risks to their families, ”she said.

“With widespread misinformation, many mothers see themselves as able to control the risks of COVID-19 (including through the use of masks) but not the risks of vaccines. So they plan to limit their children’s exposure to the virus rather than relying on the vaccine, ”Calarco added.

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The researchers also found that parents without a college degree were much more likely than others to object to mandatory vaccinations at school. Black parents are more likely than white parents, overall, to object to school-prescribed shots.

In addition, the survey found that parents who had COVID-19 were significantly more likely than others to oppose compulsory shootings and mask warrants.

While mothers were more likely than fathers to oppose mandatory school vaccines, they were less likely to oppose school mask mandates. About 70% of parents said their youngest school-aged child wears a mask the entire time they are in public and 47% said the same for their youngest preschooler.

These findings have important implications for the success of stopping the virus, including school-based public health initiatives, Calarco said.

“One way we can help turn the tide is to change the current culture that pressures and blames mothers for a culture that includes community care,” Calarco said. “Treating the health and well-being of children as a collective – not an individual – responsibility is the raison d’être of vaccines.”

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More information

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCE: Indiana University, press release, March 18, 2021

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