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Vaccination in Kids

Feb 13, 2023

when the Food and Drug Administration approved two COVID-19 vaccines for kids under 5 in mid-June, pediatricians and many parents rejoiced. But not all parents. According to a July Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 43 percent of parents said they are “definitely not” getting their newly eligible children vaccinated.

This dismal statistic should not come as a complete surprise. Last fall's vaccination rollout for 5- to 11-year-olds has stalled; only 10 percent of that age group are up to date. Likewise, only about a quarter of 12- to 17-year-olds have gotten their recommended COVID-19 vaccines.

On the whole, children are at low risk of getting very sick with COVID-19. But vaccinations are still essential: They prevent many infections outright, cutting the chances that kids could pass COVID-19 to their vulnerable family members. And if kids do get sick, vaccinations slash the likelihood of severe illness or long COVID-19. All that means that they can stay in school and keep doing the activities they enjoy.

How can the United States jump-start the momentum for vaccinating all kids and teens? Our research offers some promising approaches.


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