American parents intend to vaccinate kids against tripledemic

US parents' intent to vaccinate against COVID-19, influenza, and RSV.

Share

Most US parents plan to vaccinate infants and young children against influenza, RSV, and COVID-19, per the first national study on this topic. The study, led by Dr. Simon F. Haeder from Texas A&M University, focused on the “tripledemic” anticipated for the upcoming fall and winter. Despite growing opposition to vaccination, the research found that most parents are supportive.

Dr. Haeder, an associate professor of health policy and management, previously conducted the first national study on vaccine mandates, revealing public solid support for them in K-12 students.

Dr. Simon F. Haeder conducted an online survey of 5,035 parents in the United States on September 27 and 28. The survey assessed parental intentions regarding vaccination against COVID-19, influenza, and RSV for their children.

Factors like disease concerns, political preferences, and demographic details were considered. Results showed that around 40% of parents planned to vaccinate their children against COVID-19, 63% against influenza, and 71% against RSV.

Haeder said, “Interestingly, these results aligned with the results of our survey of pet owners, although those were not as politically polarizing. In this case, parents decided that because they were concerned about these diseases, they trusted health providers, and their children were previously vaccinated. Those opposed said they feared vaccine safety and necessity and lacked vaccine information.”

Vaccine hesitancy has been a concern even before COVID-19. It’s not just about COVID vaccines but also vaccines for diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, and human papillomavirus (HPV). When people hesitate or refuse to get vaccinated, it affects more than just them. It puts communities, especially those in poverty or vulnerable groups like older people, at a higher risk of getting sick.

High vaccination rates in the whole population are crucial to preventing disease outbreaks. Requiring vaccines for school-age children is important because they are generally healthier and visit the doctor less often, so without a mandate, they might not get vaccinated, increasing the risk of disease spread.

Haeder said, “Now, with the newly developed antibody immunization against RSV and vaccines against influenza and COVID-19, we have a unique opportunity to avoid illness and death this fall and winter. But vaccine hesitancy—along with the elimination of COVID-19 funding and a belief that the pandemic is behind us—make it likely that the United States will experience excessive preventable illness from COVID-19, influenza, and RSV this fall and winter.”

The study concludes that most American parents intend to vaccinate their children against the “Tripledemic,” indicating a positive trend toward immunization and public health protection.

Journal reference:

  1. Simon F. Haeder, Assessing parental intention to vaccinate against COVID-19, influenza, and RSV in the United States in late 2023. Vaccine. DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2023.11.004.

Newsletter

See stories of the future in your inbox each morning.

Trending