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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