We are going into the third month of children ages 5-11 years of age having access to the COVID-19 vaccine that has been shown to decrease illness (including MIS-C), hospitalizations and death. As of January 5, 2022, the CDC recorded 7 million US children ages 5-11 have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine representing 25% of 5-11 year-olds. And child vaccination rates vary widely across states, ranging from 9% to 57% receiving their first dose.
After an initial wave of eager parents, vaccination rates are waning, similar to what we saw with children 12-15. The Kaiser Family Foundation Vaccine Monitor found that three in ten parents of both teens and younger children say they will “definitely not” get their child vaccinated for COVID-19. How this perspective changes in the midst of the Omicron surge is yet to be determined.
I spoke to the Bangor Daily News about this concerning issue. “Children and COVID vaccinations is going to be a very tough nut to crack,” (Blaisdell) said, “and I encourage parents to continue to talk to those people that they trust.”