NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – As the Pfizer vaccine becomes available for kids ages five to 11 in New Mexico, a national survey shows parents are split about getting the vaccine or not and their reasons why. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation vaccine study, 27% of parents with children ages five to 11 will get their child vaccinated right away.
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“I know that they still may get sick but they may not get as sick and that’s what gives me comfort is them staying out of the hospital or getting very ill to where I have to leave them and not be able to be with them,” said parent Michelle Dodge.
The findings also show 33% of parents are waiting to find out and see whether or not the vaccines are effective for children. While 30% of parents say they won’t be getting the vaccine for their kids at all, citing health concerns such as potential side effects or even possible effects to their child’s future fertility.
“For me, it’s just weighing risks and I don’t think that there is a perfect solution for anyone. I wish that I could believe in a magic pill for someone to take but as a mom, I’ve realized that our bodies are all just different. My kids have reacted differently to all different things and I have to be really thoughtful and careful and know that any choice I make has consequences either way,” said another parent, Natalie Dressman.
The poll also indicates that just 5% of parents will only get the vaccine if schools require it. Some Albuquerque parents say they are prepared to fight and request religious exemption against the vaccine if they do become a requirement.
However, some say they are open to changing their decision as more research is done on the vaccines. According to the New Mexico Department of Health, side effects in five to 11-year-olds are milder than those in older children.
Right now, high school students are not mandated in New Mexico to get the vaccine. NMDOH says pediatric Pfizer shipments are arriving in three waves between Nov. 1 and Nov. 10, and some providers have not yet received shipments. They say, as a result, appointments for children 5-11 may not yet be available.