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Millions of U.S. kids without COVID-19 vaccination

Posted at 12:44 PM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 15:44:43-04

(KERO) — With a new school year about two weeks away and the COVID BA.5 variant spreading millions of U.S. children still remain unvaccinated.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say just about 45 percent of kids 5 to 17 are fully vaccinated against COVID. That's about 24 million people.

And around 22 million of them are eligible for a booster shot but officials say only about five million have gotten it. And that's because many of them have still not completed their initial doses.

A Kaiser Family Foundation study revealed that 43 percent of U.S. parents of children under five say they will not get their child vaccinated due to concerns over safety and long-term side effects.

"They're miscalculating that risk versus benefit. And let me be clear COVID was among the top ten killers of kids of all age groups one and up prior to the vaccine. We have a lot of parents of young kids who are confused. Both about how dangerous COVID is to kids and are confused about the safety of the vaccine," explained Dr. Megan Ranney, professor of emergency medicine and associate dean of public health for Brown University.

Researchers also found only 17 percent of parents with children between 6 months and 5 years old say their child has been vaccinated or will be.

The Food and Drug Administration authorized COVID-19 vaccinations in children as young as 6 months in mid-June.