Children with developmental disabilities are at higher risk of illness and death from COVID-19 in part because of their underlying health conditions, such as obesity, that make them susceptible to severe disease. Until now, little has been known about the vaccination status of the 1-in-6 U.S. children with a developmental disability.
Now, in a new study published online on September 6 in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, Karen Bonuck, Ph.D., and colleagues report the first study of parent preferences for vaccinating their child with a developmental disability against COVID-19. The researchers surveyed 352 parents of children with developmental disabilities in New York State. Compared with survey results of parents in the general population, parents of children with developmental disabilities appeared more willing to have their children vaccinated. Vaccine hesitancy stemmed mainly from concerns about vaccine side effects and children with disabilities not being included in clinical trials of the vaccines. Less common concerns were vaccine misinformation and feeling that COVID-19 was not serious enough in children to warrant vaccination. The researchers concluded that New York parents of children with developmental disabilities are highly willing for their children to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
Dr. Bonuck is professor of family and social medicine, of obstetrics & gynecology and women's health, and of pediatrics at Einstein and co-director of the Rose F. Kennedy University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Einstein-Montefiore.
Posted on: Wednesday, September 21, 2022