COVID-19 may encourage parents to vaccinate their kids against the flu
New research suggests that the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic may encourage parents to vaccinate their children against influenza.
“Changes in risk perception due to COVID-19, and previous vaccination, may serve to influence decision-making among caregivers regarding influenza vaccination in the coming season. To promote influenza vaccination among children, public health programs can leverage this information,” the researchers said.
At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a total of 2,422 caregivers were surveyed across 17 paediatric emergency departments (ED) in six different countries. All surveys were anonymous and conducted online, and included questions on attitudes about COVID-19 as well as vaccination intent and history. All caregivers were accompanying their children, aged 1–19 years, in the ED.
Of the surveyed participants, 54.3 percent noted that they intended to vaccinate their children against influenza in the coming season, 15.9-percent greater than the percentage of caregivers reporting that their child had been vaccinated in the last 12 months.
In addition, 58.3 percent of the respondents intended to get vaccinated themselves in the coming influenza season, as opposed to only 40.6 percent in the past season. Forty-two caregivers did not specify their intent to vaccinate their child.
Notably, of the 1,459 caregivers who did not vaccinate their children in the past year, 28.6 percent (n=418) said they planned to get the vaccine next season. Nevertheless, 70.3 percent (n=1,025) reported that they would still not vaccinate in the coming year.