Survey suggests just over half of parents in Milton Keynes and beyond want their 12-15 year old children vaccinated

New data reveals a divide between parents when it comes to jabbing young teenagers.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 1:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 1:04 pm

A new poll conducted by Parentkind has revealed that only 55% of parents with 12-15-year-old children indicate they would approve of their child being vaccinated.

Starting next week children aged between 12 and 15 in Milton Keynes and the rest of the country will be offered a first dose of a jab protecting against Covid.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi has said that age cohort will be offered one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Parents' opinions are divided on vaccinating children

Parentkind's poll was completed by 734 parents, 9% were undecided on whether they want their 12-15-year-old children vaccinated, 41% are against the idea.

When it comes to children under the age of 12, there is even less parental support for vaccinating them among parents who have a child in that age range. Although almost two in five (39%) say they would support it, almost half (48%) oppose extending the vaccine programme to preteen children.

The uncertainty about rolling out the vaccination programme to younger children does not appear to be linked to parental vaccine hesitancy, with 77% of respondents indicating that they have been jabbed and only 16% saying they have not been.

When it came to parents of older children aged 16-17 already eligible for vaccinations, 73% of parents polled said their child had either been vaccinated or had booked an appointment, where 28% said their 16-17 year olds had not been vaccinated and did not intend to be.

Parentkind’s findings come as the UK's chief medical officers (CMO) have today recommended that a single dose of a Covid vaccine should be offered to healthy children aged 12 to 15.

Parentkind CEO John Jolly says, “Our research shows that parents with school-aged children of all age ranges are split on the issue of vaccinating younger children. Recent statements from ministers have led to some confusion about whether or not non-consenting parents’ wishes can be overruled where the child is Gillick competent to give their consent.

"We worry that this uncertainty risks creating distrust between homes and schools. It is essential that parents are asked to give their consent, and are consulted by the school in the unlikely event that differences of opinion between parent and child arise.

"We also call on the government to be clear in their messaging to both parents and children about the risks and benefits of vaccinating children, so that families can come to informed decisions. Additionally, they must demonstrate to parents that it is safe for children in this age group to receive the vaccine.

"They must also explain how vaccination is beneficial either for the child's wellbeing or for broader public health purposes such as in decreasing the risk of further disruption to children’s education through additional periods of remote learning.”