One-Third of Caregivers of Children With Cancer Are Hesitant About COVID-19 Vaccine

A survey of carers and parents of children with cancer shows that nearly a third were hesitant to vaccinate their children against COVID-19.

Recent survey results show that nearly a third of respondents, who have frequent contact with the medical community, were hesitant to vaccinate.

A survey of carers and parents of children with cancer shows that nearly a third were hesitant to vaccinate their children against COVID-19.

Responses to a study conducted by the Duke Cancer Institute suggest that hesitation about COVID-19 vaccination is common in those who have frequent contact with the medical community and in a population with a high rate of clinical trial participation.

“One of the reasons we wanted to do a survey about vaccine hesitancy in this group is that they interact so often with the medical system, so we were looking for something that could potentially be unique to this patient population and that would them,” senior study author Kyle Walsh, PhD, an associate professor in the departments of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at Duke, said in a statement. “And actually the hesitation was pretty high.”

Walsh and colleagues conducted the 19-question survey between February and April 2021, when the COVID-19 vaccine was first introduced and before pediatric vaccines were approved. Each survey was sent to carers of children with cancer who had completed treatment but could still receive follow-up care or supervision, with 130 families completing the survey.

The aim of the study was to determine which variables were associated with caregivers’ reluctance or willingness to vaccinate themselves and/or their children, the statement said.

The results show that 29% of caregivers were hesitant to let their children with cancer receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which is slightly higher than the 25% reported among the general population, according to the results of a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation released in July. 2021.

While more than 40% of respondents said their children’s cancer treatment was part of a clinical trial, the factor did not play a role in their consideration of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the statement.

“We were surprised that it was not associated with vaccine acceptability,” Walsh said.

Just over half of respondents reported that their children with cancer would receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it became available to them. and 5 children had already been vaccinated.

Another 18% of caregivers felt unsure whether their child would receive the vaccine, but tended to yes.

Survey participants also found that health care providers were more likely to have their children vaccinated if they expressed confidence in the federal response to COVID-19, drugs, science and vaccinations.

Participants were more willing to vaccinate if they expressed concerns that infection with COVID-19 would put additional risks to their children, whose immune systems are often vulnerable after cancer treatments.

Participants who reported being hesitant to vaccinate expressed concerns about the speed of development of the COVID-19 vaccine and insufficient data and safety for children, the statement said.

The results highlight the need for education and education about COVID-19 vaccination, even among families highly involved in the medical community, and underscore the importance of updating families as important data emerges from vaccine registries and studies Walsh said.

“For all parents who have children with cancer, they are trying to make the best decisions for them based on the information available and the potential long-term effects of chemotherapy, radiation and now possible vaccinations against COVID-19,” he said. said.


A third of carers of children with cancer are hesitant about the COVID vaccine. EurekAlert! November 17, 2021. Accessed November 17, 2021.

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