Parents support school mask mandates more than required vaccines, a study finds.
U.S. parents of school-aged children are more supportive of school mask requirements than mandatory coronavirus vaccines, according to a new survey. He revealed that nearly two-thirds of those parents want schools to insist on wearing masks for students, teachers and staff who have not been vaccinated.
The survey, which will be released by the Kaiser Family Foundation on Wednesday, offers a window into the thinking of American parents at the start of another complicated school year. Debates over mask warrants rage, the Biden administration is pushing for young people to get vaccinated and the Delta variant is sending more young people to hospital with Covid-19.
The survey found that 63% of parents wanted mandatory masks in schools for people who were not vaccinated. But parents’ views on immunizing their children are complicated, according to the survey, and tend to follow the partisan lines that have shaped the discussion about immunizing adults.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine received emergency clearance from the Food and Drug Administration in May for use in people 12 years of age and older. But more than half of parents of school-aged children said they still didn’t think schools should require it.
The Kaiser research, which is part of an ongoing study of public attitudes towards vaccination against Covid-19, is based on a nationally representative sample of 1,259 parents with a child under the age of 18 in their household. He revealed that one in five parents of children between the ages of 12 and 17 said their child would “definitely not” be vaccinated.
“Despite the controversy across the country over masks in schools, most parents want their school to require masks for unvaccinated students and staff,” Drew Altman, executive director of the foundation, said in a statement. . “At the same time, most parents don’t want their schools to require their children to receive a Covid-19 vaccine despite being effective in the fight against Covid-19. “
School officials across the country say they are deeply concerned about their ability to keep classrooms open this year, and many schools are promoting immunization and even holding immunization clinics. But persuading parents to immunize their children is an uphill battle, educators say.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that only 30 percent of students ages 12 to 15 are fully immunized; the rate is 80 percent among American adults over 65.
“The biggest challenge is just making sure people understand that vaccines are safe and that vaccines mitigate the effects” of Covid-19, said Raymond C. Hart, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, which represents large urban school districts.
The Kaiser study reflected this challenge. An overwhelming majority – 88% – of parents whose children were not vaccinated said they were “very” or “somewhat” concerned that not enough is known about the effects. long-term Covid-19 vaccines in children, and 79% expressed concern about serious side effects.
Nearly three-quarters of parents said they feared the vaccines could harm their child’s fertility, even though the CDC found no evidence.
Attitudes towards vaccination have collapsed along racial, ethnic and partisan lines.
Hispanic and Black parents were more likely than White parents to cite concerns that reflect barriers to accessing immunizations, including not being able to get the vaccine in a place of trust or believing they might have to pay for it. that. The survey found that about two-thirds of Democratic parents supported the mask and vaccine mandates, while more than three-quarters of Republicans opposed them.
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