COVID vaccination rate low for very young children

more than 7% Utah children under 5 years old According to the Utah Department of Health and Human Services, it has received at least its first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

But Utah’s rates for that age group are still higher than those in the United States.

Nationwide, only 6% of children under the age of 5 have received at least one dose of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for infants and toddlers finally authorized after one in june month delay for children as young as 6 months old by federal health officials, The Washington Post reported This week.

Yet the COVID-19 vaccination rate among older children and teens is much higher — six times higher for children 5 to 11, 38% nationwide, and nearly double that rate for those 12 to 17, at 70%, according to the Post. . In Utah, the state reports similar numbers, with 37.4% of children 5-11 and 70.6% of children 12 to 18 having received the first shot.

Across the country, 4 in 10 parents – 43% – with children 6 months to 4 years old said they were “definitely not” going to vaccinate them against the deadly virus, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation Poll Held in July.

“It is very disappointing that we have such low uptake of vaccines. It is a very safe and effective vaccine for children,” said Dr. D., chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah and director of epidemiology at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital. Andrew Pavia told Deseret News.

Rich Lakin, immunization director for the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, said the number of young children was predictable because interest in lining up for shots has dwindled in each new age group as they become eligible for the vaccine.

“We are doing very well. I am happy with what we are seeing. I think people are understanding the importance. We expected it to be slow,” Luckin said. “We are just following that trend. What we’ve seen with old age is because you really go down the ladder.”

Washington, D.C. has the highest percentage of children 6 months to 4 years old who have received at least one COVID-19 shot, about 21%, while Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi are at the bottom of the list, with less than 0.2 . Percentage of that age group is getting at least one dose of the vaccine, the Post reported.

Lakin said that as winter approaches, the rate of COVID-19 vaccination for all age groups should increase.

“I’m guessing we’ll probably see more increases when we get closer to winter time, when we start seeing an increase in cases,” the vaccination director said. “We generally see a trend with vaccination compared to the severity of the disease.”

Pavia, who has talked about hopeless wait Vaccines for babies and toddlers for COVID-19 and he sees them getting shots a “no brainer” For parents, one of the reasons more shots weren’t given is that the vaccine only became available in early summer.

“It’s not usually the time you bring your kids to the doctor,” he said. “Maybe it slowed it down a bit.”

Further, the doctor said, “There is a general belief that COVID is over, which as we all know is unfortunately not true,”

In form of latest update Last Thursday by state, Utah reported nearly 2,500 new cases of COVID-19, along with a dozen additional deaths from the virus. The death toll in Utah has now passed another grim milestone 5,001 people lost their livesThis includes seven children and adolescents aged 1 to 14 years.

The virus continues to pose other risks to children as well.

“During the summer, where people thought COVID was gone, we had sustained high levels” hospitalization for children for COVID in Utah and across the country,” Pavia said. “So it’s not making headlines, but it still is.”

He said it may be difficult for people to classify the risk of COVID-19 to young children.

“If you compare it with the risk of serious disease in older adults, it doesn’t sound too bad. But if you compare it with the other diseases we worry about for our children,” he said, Their risk for COVID-19 right now is higher, “for most of the diseases for which we gladly vaccinate our children.”

At the same time, some parents may go to the other extreme, thinking of childhood COVID-19 vaccines, “as if it’s to protect them from a greater threat, rather than as an important way to keep us Will kill thousands of children. Children are healthy,” Pavia said.

Nearly one-fifth of parents in a July survey who said they would not vaccinate their young children said their main concern is that they use the vaccine, which is known first. mRNA The technology, too new and not enough tested or researched, is the most popular reason given.

The doctor said people haven’t caught on to the fact that they are no longer considered new vaccines.

“We’ve now delivered literally half a billion doses of mRNA vaccines, so the safety record is pretty good now,” Pavia said. “It was a very valid concern two years ago, that we didn’t know much about long-term security. But that perception should have changed.”

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