Only 1 in 5 parents of kids under age 5 plan to vaccinate their child right away. More than half (56%) of caregivers say there isn’t enough information available about the shots. This highlights the need to communicate broadly about these vaccines. Other top reasons include concerns about side effects, not being worried about COVID-19, and concerns about long term effects.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that trusted messengers need to be equipped with evidenced-based information. Pediatricians remain the most trusted source of information on the COVID-19 vaccine for parents. (Unfortunately, 34% of parents of teens and 40% of parents of children ages 5 to 11 who spoke to their doctor say their pediatrician did not recommend their child get vaccinated for COVID-19.) Parents also trust local health departments, schools/daycares, and other parents a great deal to provide reliable information about the COVID-19 vaccines for children. Among previously hesitant adults, 1 in 5 changed their minds because of conversations with family and friends.
Back in October 2021, it was apparent from my survey that the YLE audience is a network of trusted messengers. So, here are some resources that may help:
A 1-pager below with talking points for top parental concerns. It includes what we know and what we don’t know about COVID-19 vaccines for this age group. Here is the Spanish version. I also included a PDF below for paid subscribers (English and Spanish).
A 3-page tip sheet for talking about Covid-19 vaccines for children six months to four years old. This was written by a team of multidisciplinary doctors and scientists (myself included).
Here are the American Academy of Pediatrics answers to COVID-19 vaccine frequently asked questions
A Times Magazine article I wrote this weekend may also be helpful: “My toddlers already had COVID19. I’m still getting them vaccinated”.
I hope this helps you navigate important conversations with parents in the coming days, weeks, and months. Vaccine confidence builds with time and we all have a role to play.
PDF in English and Spanish: