As the Government plans to extend the Covid-19 vaccination programme to 12-15-year-olds, 63% of parents in Ireland are comfortable with their children being vaccinated, according to research.
Just under 40% of parents surveyed say they are not comfortable with their children receiving a Covid-19 vaccine, with the highest vaccine hesitancy rates detected in parents living in Leinster at 50%.
According to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), as of May 11, 8,309 children aged 0-4 had tested positive for the virus, of which 187 were hospitalised.
There were 18,782 cases in the 5-14 age group, of which 152 were hospitalised.
In the 15-24 age cohort, there were 44,551 cases detected among 15-24-year-olds, of which 575 were admitted to hospital spending at least one night there.
Last week, it was announced that children at high risk of serious illness from Covid-19 will be prioritised in the next stage of the vaccine rollout.
This came following new advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) that Covid vaccines will be made available to children aged between 12 and 15 years.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan said the roll-out of vaccines to that age group could happen “reasonably quickly” but it may not be completed before the start of the school year.
However, children who have not been vaccinated will not be prevented from attending school as there are “many other protections” within the school environment.
“The vaccination of children is important but it’s not necessary for the return of school,” he said.
Other key findings from the Zahra consumer report showed:
- 46% of parents believe their child’s confidence has been affected by the pandemic
- 41% of parents have noticed a change in their child’s mental health
- 41% of parents stated they would be more likely to spend less on childcare in the future, taking on the responsibility themselves