(HealthDay News) — Parents’ perceptions of the COVID-19 vaccine long-term comparative risk and their responsibility for children getting sick if vaccinated are associated with lower vaccine uptake among children, according to a study published online April 13 in Pediatrics.

Ying Liu, Ph.D., from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues surveyed parents regarding vaccination of their school-aged children, comparative long-term risk (perceptions that the long-term risk of vaccination exceeds risk without vaccination), anticipated responsibility (tendency to feel more responsible if their child became sick from vaccination than when unvaccinated), and their own vaccination status. The associations of children’s COVID-19 vaccination with parental comparative long-term risk perceptions, anticipated responsibility, parents’ vaccination status, and demographics were examined among 1,715 parent respondents.

The researchers found that 45 and 18 percent of the respondents perceived, respectively, vaccine-related comparative long-term risk and greater anticipated responsibility from vaccination versus no vaccination. Parents who were more concerned about long-term risk and who reported greater anticipated responsibility were 6 and 19 percent less likely to vaccinate their children, respectively, after accounting for parental vaccination. Vaccinated parents were the driver of the findings.

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“The findings point to potential ways to promote pediatric COVID-19 vaccination,” the authors write.

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