MONDAY, Sept. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Targeted outreach may be needed to counter COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among some parents, according to a study published online Sept. 13 in BMC Public Health.

Nina L. Alfieri, M.D., from the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and colleagues surveyed 1,425 parents to compare hesitancy toward a future COVID-19 vaccine for children among various sociodemographic groups in a major metropolitan area.

The researchers found that one-third of parents reported hesitancy for their child, but this number was higher for Black parents (48 percent) and Hispanic parents (33 percent) versus non-Hispanic White parents (26 percent). Non-Hispanic Black parents had higher hesitancy versus non-Hispanic White parents (odds ratio, 2.65), as did parents of publicly insured children versus privately insured (odds ratio, 1.93) and lower-income groups. Parents who report using family, internet, and health care providers as information sources had lower odds of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy for their children compared with parents not using each of those sources.

“As vaccines are becoming available to younger children, and with continued spikes in COVID-19 cases, it is of the utmost importance that we are able to widely distribute the vaccine,” a coauthor said in a statement. “We especially need to reach the more vulnerable and hesitant populations to help reduce the substantial health inequities we have seen during this pandemic.”

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