Younger Moms Most Hesitant to Vaccinating Children Against COVID-19

Findings based on survey of Medicaid enrollees in Florida
mother and daughter
mother and daughter

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THURSDAY, Feb. 17, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Younger mothers, both Black and White, are the least open to vaccinating their children against COVID-19, according to research published in the March issue of Preventive Medicine.

Matthew W. Kreuter, Ph.D., M.P.H., from Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues conducted an online survey to understand how racially and ethnically diverse parents of young children enrolled in Medicaid (1,951 parents) feel about a prospective COVID-19 vaccine for their children.

The researchers found that the youngest Black and White mothers were least likely to vaccinate their child (24 percent), followed by Black and White mothers in their early 30s (36 percent), younger Hispanic and mixed-race or other race parents (45 percent), older mothers (48 percent), and older fathers (71 percent). There were unique challenges to building vaccine confidence observed for each group. The youngest Black and White mothers were more likely to report their lives being worse during the COVID-19 pandemic and were more concerned about paying bills than preventing COVID-19, yielding more negative and less positive feelings about a COVID-19 vaccine. Less negative feelings were seen among younger Hispanic and mixed-race parents, who were more likely to use emotional language (e.g., scared, nervous, worried) talking about a COVID-19 vaccine and were more likely to report that protecting their child's health was their top concern.

"The findings suggest the importance of bundling vaccination information and services with other forms of help for parents struggling during the pandemic," Kreuter said in a statement.

Abstract/Full Text

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