Parents’ income may predict their children’s Covid-19 vaccination choices

a survey Out of more than 2,000 parents showing that the wealthy are more willing to vaccinate their children between the ages of 5 and 11.

Vaccinations for children in this age group began last week. White House officials said Wednesday that nearly 900,000 children ages 5 to 11 are expected to receive their first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine by the end of Wednesday, and about 700,000 appointments have been scheduled in pharmacies for the coming days.

In the survey, 47% of parents with annual incomes of $100,000 or more said they would be willing to vaccinate their children. Among parents with incomes between $75,000 and $99,000, 37 percent said they would, and among parents with incomes less than $50,000, 34 percent said they were ready.

“This trend line has been quite clear from the lowest to the highest,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a vaccine advisor for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who was not involved in the survey.

Low-income communities have been particularly hard hit by Covid-19. according to CDC . dataCounties with higher levels of the population living in poverty have the highest cumulative death rates during the pandemic, with approximately 295 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to 183 deaths per 100,000 people in counties with lower levels of the population living in poverty.

Reasons for low enthusiasm for the vaccine

The online survey of 2,331 parents of 5- to 11-year-olds in the week of October 25 was conducted by Momentive and Outbreaks Near Me, a team of epidemiologists at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

John Brownstein, co-founder of Outbreaks Near Me, said people on lower incomes may have a harder time getting their children vaccinated.

“You may need time off from work to get an appointment, or potentially time off if your child develops symptoms after the shot,” Brownstein said. “Unfortunately, the disparities that have been seen across the pandemic, especially around income, will persist even around access to the vaccine and younger children.”

according to Kaiser Family Foundation Poll In the past month, about half of parents with household incomes of less than $50,000 said they were very or somewhat concerned about taking time off work to pick up their children for a vaccination or recovering from symptoms.

Nearly 4 in 10 low-income parents in the survey said they were concerned about the difficulty of traveling to a place to vaccinate their children.

Schaffner noted that people with higher incomes tend to have more education.

“With more education, you generally have a greater acceptance of science, and I think you are more likely to engage in these kinds of public health measures and other preventative measures as recommended by the medical community,” said Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt. University Medical Center.

“Meet people where they are”

Schaffner said the income findings could help public health agencies target vaccine messages to that specific population.

“People have studied these kinds of issues, and there are lessons out there about how to communicate with different populations,” he said.

In Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, the local health department is assigning community health workers to schools to support families with information about vaccines, said Haley Reeves, chief public health strategist for the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.

If the school identifies a student with limited access to a vaccine, the Department of Health makes a referral to the team that will visit the family at home.

“This really allows us to meet people wherever they are and break down any barriers to getting vaccinated,” Reeves said.

The Ministry of Health conducts home visits to vaccinate adults as well and at homeless shelters.

Key to all of this, Reeves added, is partnering with 700 organizations, including churches and community groups, to encourage vaccination.

Together, these strategies have worked.

In Oklahoma County, 84% of residents age 12 and older have been fully vaccinated, Reeves said. Statewide, about 60% of this group is fully vaccinated, according to Oklahoma State Department of Health.

CNN’s Justin Labe and Danielle Hermann contributed to this report.

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