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Cogent Medicine ; 8, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1617067


Background: Vaccination against COVID-19 in pediatric age has been a hot topic recently. This study aimed to assess parents' intention to vaccinate their children against COVID-19 and identify which factors may influence this decision. Methods: An observational study was conducted between June and July 2021 by applying an anonymous questionnaire to a sample of caregivers of children and adolescents followed in ambulatory care in a Portuguese central hospital. We included sociodemographic data, immunization history, personal background, exposure to COVID-19 and caregivers' beliefs. At the time of the study, there was still no official recommendation from health authorities regarding vaccination in pediatric age. Results: A total of 78 questionnaires were conducted. The mean age of the children was 9.2 years (±5.9), 56.4% were male, 94.8% had an updated immunization history, and 65.8% had extra vaccines. Of these children, 22.1% had comorbidities. Among the caregivers, 83.3% were mothers, the mean age was 39.4 years (±9.4), and 26.9% had attended university. The vaccine was considered safe by 61.5%, and 34.6% answered they did not know whether to consider it safe or not. Information about the vaccine was obtained through television in 84.6%, social networks in 42.3% and 34.6% in the information given by health professionals. Regarding the intention to vaccinate their children, 76.9% answered "yes", 7.7% did not answer and 15.4% answered "no". The vaccine's ineffectiveness (n=5) and inappropriate age (n=3) were the most cited reasons not to vaccinate. In 82.9%, the number of doses of the vaccine would not influence the decision. Conclusions: The study results show that caregivers have considerable resistance to the vaccination of children and adolescents against COVID-19, mainly based on the belief in the vaccine's ineffectiveness. The majority obtained information about the vaccine in the media, which reinforces the importance and the opportunity for intervention by transmitting credible and perceptible information in these media.