Fourteen percent of parents with children under the age of 5 said their child received a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a recent Gallup poll. This finding comes about two months after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the vaccine for emergency use for this group of young children.
Additionally, the poll found 52% of parents of children 5 years and older say their child is immunized against COVID-19, while 4% still plan to do so and 44% do not. A third COVID-19 shot is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for children who are 5-11 years old, and the agency reports that adverse physical reactions to a third dose are rare for this age group.
Pfizer and BioNTech also report that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has a 73% efficacy rate among children ages 6 months to four years.
As students go back to school, a majority of districts have loosened mask policies and other mitigation measures. This is happening as the CDC has eased its own COVID-19 guidance for schools. The agency said schools no longer need to quarantine students exposed to COVID-19 but tested negative. Test-to-stay programs have diminished, too. But the CDC still recommends masking in places with high levels of community transmission.
In one instance, however, D.C. Public Schools will require COVID-19 vaccines for students 12 years and older beginning in the 2022-23 school year.