By Paula Penebaker
Many parents have flocked to doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and other authorized locations with their 5–11-year-old children in tow to get the COVID vaccine. It’s likely that many more would do the same if they had access. Unfortunately, access to the vaccine for children of color remains a challenge.
Some challenges are tied to parents’ socioeconomic status. The Kaiser Family Foundation provided information in a report on racial disparities and how they impact a parent’s decision to have their children vaccinated.
In Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Impacts and Vaccinations for Children, KFF found that many low-wage earners work jobs without paid leave. Having to take time off to take their children to get the vaccine costs money. Transportation to and from a vaccine site costs money. Those are real concerns for people with limited resources, many of whom may have returned to work only recently after quarantining and home schooling.
For some parents, there is the same skepticism about the medical system and lack of trust in medical professionals that may have delayed or prevented them from getting the vaccine as well. Will their concerns about their children be addressed effectively? Finding a trusted source to get the facts on COVID-19 vaccines is critically important so parents can make the best decisions for their children.
According to the latest data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, since vaccines for kids ages 5-11 were authorized on Nov. 2, 2021, 16.7% of kids in that age group have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. As vaccines continue to roll out to kids, it’s imperative that those vaccinated include children of color equally.
To learn more about vaccinating children ages 5-11, please visit the CDC.
For more about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) We Can Do This COVID-19 Public Education Campaign, please visit https://wecandothis.hhs.gov.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, please visit https://www.vaccines.gov/.