Public Favors Masks in Classrooms but Balks at Vaccine Mandates

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By Jordan Rau, Kaiser Health News

Wednesday, August 11, 2021 (Kaiser News) -- As the dispersed of the delta variant threatens the information of classrooms, a canvass released Wednesday recovered astir two-thirds of parents enactment schools’ requiring unvaccinated students property 5 oregon older and teachers to deterioration masks. A bulk of parents, however, reason requiring students present eligible for a covid vaccine to get one, with 1 Black genitor from Michigan telling pollsters that “my kid is not a trial dummy.”

The beardown nationalist opinions travel arsenic the authorities implicit schoolroom masking grows much heated with the commencement of the schoolhouse year, peculiarly successful Florida and Texas. Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued an enforcement bid giving parents the authorization to determine whether their kids should beryllium masked, but respective ample schoolhouse districts are maintaining their masking mandates. The Dallas and Austin schoolhouse districts are besides defying a prohibition connected disguise mandates issued by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican.

The KFF covid-19 canvass recovered that, nationally, 63% of parents favored mandatory masking for unvaccinated children ages 5 to 17. (KHN is an editorially autarkic programme of KFF.)

Predictably, views connected masking and vaccination divided consistently on enactment lines, with Democratic parents mostly supporting them and Republicans overmuch much resistant. Sixty-nine percent of Republican parents reason mandatory masking. More than three-quarters of Black parents and Hispanic parents enactment disguise requirements portion lone a slim bulk of achromatic parents backmost masks.

As of July, 41% of parents of children ages 12-17 said their kids had been vaccinated. An further 6% said they wanted to get them vaccinated promptly, and 23% said they wanted to “wait and see.” Nine percent said they would get them vaccinated lone if required and 20% said they would decidedly not. “I deliberation my kid is steadfast capable to conflict the covid-19 microorganism without a vaccine,” a Hispanic parent from Georgia told pollsters.

Some parents said the absorption to vaccination sprung from their children and they were reluctant to compel them. “I gave him a choice,” 1 achromatic genitor from Idaho told the pollsters. “He chose not to.” A achromatic parent from Wisconsin said that portion she had encouraged her teen to get vaccinated, “I don’t consciousness comfy forcing him to get it since helium is 17 and astir an adult.”

Unsurprisingly, absorption to vaccinating their kid was strongest among unvaccinated parents, with fractional saying they would not privation to let the shots nether immoderate circumstance. Nearly three-quarters of unvaccinated parents said they considered the vaccine much unsafe than covid to their child’s health. The illness has killed astir 613,000 Americans to date.

Opposition to school-mandated vaccination was high, with lone 42% of parents of students ages 12-17 favoring it. Support was strongest among Hispanics, with 51% successful favor, but lone 38% of whites and 32% of Blacks agreed with school-required vaccination.

The absorption to covid vaccines does not bespeak absorption to inoculation successful general, the canvass found. Nine retired of 10 parents said they usually support their children up to day connected recommended shots specified arsenic those for measles, mumps oregon rubella. Yet among parents of 12- to 17-year-olds who accidental their children are up to day connected different vaccinations, less than fractional of the children had been vaccinated for covid-19.

Among parents with unvaccinated teens, 88% held concerns that not capable was known astir the semipermanent effects of the vaccine successful children; 79% were disquieted astir broadside effects; 73% feared the vaccine mightiness adversely impact their teens’ fertility aboriginal successful life; and 65% were acrophobic children would beryllium mandated to get vaccinated adjacent if their parents objected.

Overall, qualms astir vaccinating teens were communal adjacent among parents who had gotten a shot, but strongest among parents who themselves had not been inoculated.

Hispanic and Black parents of unvaccinated teens were much apt than achromatic parents to fearfulness they mightiness person to instrumentality clip disconnected from enactment to get their kid vaccinated oregon request to enactment location if their kid experienced broadside effects. They besides were much apt to interest it would beryllium hard to get to a vaccination tract and whether they could spot the vaccine providers.

So far, nary vaccine has been authorized for children nether 12, but astir of their parents stay cautious. Just 26% said they volition get their school-age children vaccinated arsenic soon arsenic possible. An further 40% program to hold and see, and astir of the remainder said they volition garbage adjacent if it is required.

The survey of 1,259 parents of children nether property 18 was conducted by telephone July 15-Aug. 2. The pollsters noted astir of the interviews were conducted earlier the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s astir caller information connected the magnitude of the menace of the delta variant. The borderline of mistake for the afloat illustration is positive oregon minus 4 percent points and positive oregon minus 5 points for parents of children ages 12 to 17.

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