Parents’ concerns about the safety of childhood vaccines increased during the pandemic
Research published in Pediatrics found that parents became significantly more concerned about the safety of childhood vaccines during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A study published in MMWR found interruptions in meningococcal and Tdap vaccinations.
The study reported in Pediatrics analyzed the survey responses of 1,488 parents from April 1 to April 28, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic and later on February 1 to March 30, 2022, at a different stage of the pandemic.
Although the percentage of people who agreed that vaccines are useful and effective, but associated with few side effects increased, the percentage who disagreed also increased.
They found that parents are now more concerned about the safety of vaccines since the start of the pandemic.
In the 2015 to 2021 National Immunization Survey-Teen, there was a decline in teens getting the first doses of vaccines such as MenACWY and Tdap.
The vaccine for MenACWY had a 5.1% reduction, and the vaccine for Tdap had a 4.1% reduction among those born in 2008.
The authors recommended that doctors review vaccination histories at every patient visit.
The authors noted that parents' concerns about vaccine safety did not change their confidence in the benefits and effectiveness of childhood vaccines.
Pediatricians should ask parents with concerns about vaccinations what they are and be prepared to answer any safety questions they may have.