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Eur J Pediatr ; 181(4): 1757-1762, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588797


Widespread vaccination in pursuit of herd immunity has been recognized as the most promising approach to ending the global pandemic of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). The vaccination of children and adolescents has been extensively debated and the first COVID-19 vaccine is now approved in European countries for children aged > 12 years of age. Our study investigates vaccination hesitancy in a cohort of German secondary school students. We assessed 903 students between age 9 and 20 in the period between 17 May 2021 and 30 June 2021. 68.3% (n = 617) reported intention to undergo COVID-19 vaccination, while 7% (n = 62) did not want to receive the vaccine and 15% (n = 135) were not yet certain. Age and parental level of education influenced COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Children under the age of 16 as well as students whose parents had lower education levels showed significantly higher vaccine hesitancy.  Conclusion: Identifying subsets with higher vaccination hesitancy is important for targeting public information campaigns in support of immunization. What is Known: • The willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccination among adults in Europe is about 70%, but data for children and adolescents is lacking. • The lack of immunization in younger cohorts represents a significant barrier to achieving herd immunity, and also leaves children and adolescents vulnerable to acute and long-term morbidity from natural COVID-19 infections. What is New: • Intention-to-vaccinate among children and adolescents is high (~ 70%); conversely, vaccination hesitancy is low. • Age and parental level of education influenced COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among children and adolescents.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Educational Status , Humans , Parents , SARS-CoV-2 , Students , Vaccination , Vaccination Hesitancy , Young Adult
J Adolesc Health ; 70(3): 378-386, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1531513


PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic affects students in a myriad of different ways. Our prospective, longitudinal study in a cohort of students in Hannover, Germany explores behavioral patterns during escalating COVID-19 restrictions. METHODS: In total, 777 students between the age of 9 and 20 were assessed for their activity engagement, travel patterns, and self-assessed compliance with protective recommendations at six time points between June 2020 and June 2021 (3,564 observations) and were monitored for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection by nasal swab polymerase chain reaction and serum antibody titers. RESULTS: Activity engagement decreased, but self-assessed compliance with measures such as mask wearing and social distancing was stable during escalating restrictions. Although we found no sex difference during the summer break, when incidence was lowest, females engaged in a higher variety of activities than males for all other time points. Older students engaged in more activities and self-assigned themselves lower compliance values than younger ones. Greater involvement in different activities was seen in households which traveled more frequently. Infection rate in our cohort was low (0.03% acute infections, 1.94% positive seroprevalence). DISCUSSION: Our study supports the view that, overall, students show high compliance with COVID-19 recommendations and restrictions. The identification of subsets, such as female and older students, with higher risk behavioral patterns should be considered when implementing public information campaigns. In light of the low infection rate in our cohort, we conclude that in-person learning can occur safely if extensive protective measures are in place and the incidence in the general population remains moderate.

COVID-19 , Adolescent , Child , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies