For many parents, the decision to vaccinate their children was made so long ago they haven’t given much thought to the ongoing debate over safety and efficacy. Those are the parents likely to be most surprised by the results of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis of data from the National Immunization Survey-Child COVID Module.

As of August 31, 2022 — some 10 months after COVID vaccines were first authorized for children as young as 5 years old — fewer than half of children aged 5 to 17 had received at least one dose. The results varied wildly by ethnicity, household income, mother’s education level and, perhaps least surprisingly, uptake of flu vaccines.

The major takeaway? We may have relegated the debate over COVID vaccination to our personal backburners, but it’s far from settled among broad swaths of the U.S. population.

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