Home Life Covid Australia: Parents want to vaccinate their kids, ANU study says

Covid Australia: Parents want to vaccinate their kids, ANU study says

by Mary Sewell

Aussie parents have had their say on whether they’ll get their kids vaccinated against Covid in a significant new study. Aussie parents overwhelmingly favor giving their kids the Covid-19 jab – even for children as young as 12 months. A recent study has found almost four in five parents say they intend to get their children inoculated against the virus if a safe and effective vaccine becomes available for kids.

Researchers from the Australian National University surveyed more than 3000 Australian parents and caregivers with children aged 0 to 18. The researchers found 42.5 percent of parents/carers would “definitely” get their children vaccinated, while another 36.3 percent said they “probably” would. Despite most caregivers being decidedly pro-vaccine, a particular section of the study remained very hesitant about giving jabs to under 18s.

Almost one-in-10 of parents and carers told researchers they “definitely wouldn’t” get their children vaccinated, while another 11.4 percent said they “probably wouldn’t”.

The study’s head author, Social Sciences Researcher Nicholas Biddle, said the results provided important insights about vaccine attitudes among parents for the government to consider when planning any future vaccine rollout for Aussie children. “People have been worried about long Covid among children who get the virus or the role of children in spreading the virus among households and in the community,” Professor Biddle said.

“These findings show the vast majority of Australians are ready to make sure their children are protected from Covidas soon as vaccines are available to them.” Significant concerns exist about instances of prolonged Covid-19 symptoms in children, but researchers are yet to determine exactly how frequently and severely this occurs.

Parents’ backgrounds appeared to influence their decision on vaccines.

“We found vaccination rates are lower for Australians who have relatively low levels of education, those who speak a language other than English, those who live outside of NSW, and those who have low household income,” Professor Biddle said. And while speaking a language other than English made an individual “significantly and substantially less likely to have been vaccinated”, there was no statistical difference between people born within Australia and those born overseas.

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