Most parents keen to vaccinate kids: study

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Most parents are keen for their children to get a COVID-19 jab, but language and education are major barriers to people rolling up their sleeves.

Australian National University research shows vaccination rates are lower for people who don’t speak English, live outside of NSW and have a relatively low household income or level of education.

Vaccine hesitancy, mainly driven by concerns about side effects, has also decreased as the country grapples with a third wave of the virus.

A survey of more than 3000 adults shows 42.5 per cent of parents and carers would definitely get their children vaccinated when a safe and effective option was available.

Another 36.3 per cent of parents indicated they would likely get their children jabbed.

The remaining 21.2 per cent indicated they were either totally against getting their children vaccinated or unlikely to do so.

Children as young as 12 are currently eligible to book in for a Pfizer jab, with Moderna expected to be given the final tick for that age group imminently.

“People have been worried about long COVID among children who get the virus or the role of children in spreading the virus among households and in the community,” ANU’s professor Nicholas Biddle said.

The study found key groups unwilling to vaccinate their children included Indigenous Australians, those who did not speak English, had a low education level or lived in disadvantaged areas.

This highlighted the urgency to ensure translations of health information on government websites were up to date and promoted through multiple channels.

The study also expressed concern about the risk of serious illness and death for more disadvantaged Australians once vaccination thresholds of between 70 and 80 were reached.

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