Infectious Disease

The pace of pediatric COVID-19 vaccination in the United States has been slow

December 14, 2021

3 minutes read

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Disclosure:
Bernstein and Maldonado have no relevant financial information. The relevant financial information from all authors can be found in the study.

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Less than 20% of eligible children in the United States have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and progress has slowed in the past 2 weeks, according to the AAP.

CDC data released online by the AAP on Friday showed that 4.9 million (18%) children aged 5 to 11 in 16 states had received a first dose of the vaccine by December 8 . About 700,000 children received their first vaccination this week, ending December 8, up from 1.6 million 2 weeks earlier.

The Covid-19 vaccination in children has slowed down in recent weeks. Source: AAP.

Vaccination rates also vary widely between states, ranging from 4% to 47% when they receive their first dose.

The decline was said to be “disappointing” but to be expected Henry H. Bernstein, DO, Professor of Pediatrics at the Zucker School of Medicine in Hofstra / Northwell and Pediatrician at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York.

“When we think about the hesitation of vaccines, we know there are some people who want to be on the front lines and eager to get the vaccine as soon as their children are eligible,” Bernstein told Healio. “On the other end of the spectrum, there is a group that will definitely reject it, but most of them are in between. They have questions, want more answers, more discussions, want to talk to a trustworthy person about the vaccine data in order to make the right decision for their children. “

The pediatric version of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine was approved by the FDA for emergency use on October 29th. The CDC endorsed its use on Nov. 2, and a federal initiative to vaccinate nearly 30 million US children was not fully operational for about a year a week after that.

“It’s disappointing that the rate has fallen so much,” said Bernstein, “but I hope it stabilizes and then rises as more and more people get their questions answered and realize the importance of children being vaccinated will.”

According to survey results recently published in JAMA Pediatrics, parents’ willingness to vaccinate their children is largely related to their own feelings about the vaccine.

The survey of more than 1,100 parents found that, compared with parents who are unwilling to vaccinate, those who have either already been vaccinated or have been vaccinated are more likely to have already vaccinated their eligible children or intend to have them vaccinated immediately if they were entitled (64, 9% vs. 8.3% for children aged 2 to 4 years, 77.6% vs. 12.1% for children aged 5 to 11 years, 81.3% vs. 13.9% for children ages 12-15 and 86.4% vs. 12.7% for those ages 16-17).

“The most common cause of hesitation was concerns about vaccine-related long-term side effects in children,” the authors write.

Compared to pediatric numbers, about 51% of children ages 12-17 in the US – 12.8 million total – are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the AAP. Another 15.2 million (61%) in this age group received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As of December 9, nearly 7.2 million cases of COVID-19 in children had been reported – 17.1% of all US cases, according to the AAP.

Last week, the FDA approved booster shots of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for adolescents aged 16 and 17, a move the AAP said was backed in a statement to Healio.

“We continue to recommend that all children and adolescents be vaccinated to prevent COVID-19 infection, and we appreciate the additional protection that booster vaccination offers for adolescents aged 16 and 17.” Yvonne Maldonado, MD, FAAP, Chairman of the AAP’s Infectious Diseases Committee said in the statement. “We are particularly concerned about the emergence of new varieties such as Omicron and the continued proliferation of the Delta variety, which have a direct and indirect impact on our children. The vaccine is safe, effective and the best way to keep children and adolescents healthy and in school. “

Relation:

AAP. Children and COVID-19: Country Level Data Report. https://www.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/children-and-covid-19-state-level-data-report/. Published December 10, 2021. Accessed December 13, 2021.

Rane-MS, et al. JAMA Pediatr 2021; doi: 10.1001 / jamapediatrics.2021.5153.

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