Survey finds many AISD parents will vaccinate kids 5-11, APH to focus on ‘movable middle’

Coronavirus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Preliminary results from a survey of Austin Independent School District parents and guardians with kids ages 5 to 11 shows 66% plan to vaccinate their children after a child-sized Pfizer vaccine was approved by federal officials. The poll was done by Austin Public Health.

Those preliminary results, which were presented in part during a joint Austin City Council, Travis County Commissioners meeting Tuesday, showed that of the more than 10,000 parents or caregivers who responded to the survey, 26% said they did not plan to vaccinate their children, 7% said they were unsure and another sliver said they would only vaccinate their kids if it was mandatory.

“Our focus will be that moveable middle,” Adrienne Sturrup, the interim director of APH, said.

Of the 66% of parents who said they intended to vaccinate their kids, most said they would prefer to have their children vaccinated at a doctor’s office, followed by pharmacy and school. Almost all of those people said they intend to get their kids vaccinated within a month of the federal approval happening, according to APH.

The survey also asked parents who said they did not intend to vaccinate their children what their concerns with the vaccine were. Of those people, 72% said they strongly disagree the vaccine is safe for kids, 54% said they strongly disagree the vaccine is effective for kids.

“We did see a fair number of responses in which parents expressed feeling neutral, which may indicate that there are some parents who said no but could be waiting until they feel more confident,” Sturrup said.

Austin Public Health also talked more Tuesday about how they plan to get vaccines to kids as quickly and equitably as possible.

APH will offer five static locations including the St. Johns site and Shots for Tots. There will also be pop-up clinics at 12 schools.

APH said they’re working out outreach to educate parents on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for kids. They will focus on specific zip codes that have limited access to vaccines or the information surrounding them. Those zip codes are 78744, 78617, 78724 and 78752.

To find a COVID-19 vaccine near you, check out the City of Austin’s COVID-19 vaccine website.

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