Parents in South Dakota are hesitant to vaccinate children against COVID-19 – Community News
Covid-19

Parents in South Dakota are hesitant to vaccinate children against COVID-19

Compared to other states in the Great Plains, South Dakota is slow to get children aged 5-11 vaccinated against the coronavirus.

With childhood vaccines available for nearly a month, only about one in 20 eligible children aged 5-11 in South Dakota has so far received a dose of the vaccine against the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the Department of Health.

In an analysis of data from the U.S. Census and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, updated Nov. 22, South Dakota had the lowest childhood vaccination coverage of any Great Plains state.

At that time, 3.4% of eligible children ages 5-11 in South Dakota had received at least one dose of the Pfizer two-dose vaccine schedule, compared to Minnesota 14.5%, Nebraska 9.8 %, North Dakota 6.8%, Montana 6.1% and Wyoming at 3.7%. Rhode Island and Vermont are the highest in the nation with 18% of children ages 5-11 being vaccinated and Texas is the lowest at 1%.

Health officials say the vaccines are safe for children and could help stop the spread of COVID-19 and the development of new variants, while also reducing symptoms for those infected.

Drew Prenger of South Dakota received a COVID-19 vaccination in November 2021.

The CDC reported in October that scientific studies showed that the Pfizer vaccine was about 91% effective at preventing COVID-19 in children ages 5-11, about the same rate of protection as adults. The federal government made about 30,000 pediatric vaccine doses available to medical providers in South Dakota in early November. Reports of adverse events were minimal, with a sore arm at the injection site being the most common.

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