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Just 1 in 3 U.S. parents want to vaccinate their children ages 5-11, poll finds

Rose Mohammodi stands behind daughter Desiree Mohammodi, 9,

Rose Mohammodi stands behind daughter Desiree Mohammodi, 9, as the girl gets a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination from Dr. Sophia Jan, chief of general pediatrics at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, on Thursday. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Only 1 in 3 American parents wants to immediately vaccinate their 5- to 11-year-old children against the coronavirus, with about a third opposed altogether and the rest planning to wait and see, according to a poll taken last month.

The poll results, by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, came as the federal government was planning to greenlight the Pfizer-BioNTech shots for the 5-to-11 age group — an approval that came Tuesday night.

The poll found that 27% of parents are eager to get the shots for their kids in that age group; a third say they’ll wait and see, and about 30% say they will not.

"Parents’ main concerns when it comes to vaccinating their younger children ages 5-11 have to do with potential unknown long-term effects and serious side effects of the vaccine, including two-thirds who are concerned the vaccine may affect their child’s future fertility," the foundation’s report on the poll said.

There is no evidence the vaccine causes fertility problems in any age group, and it has no known long-term side effects either.

The pediatric dose for 5- to 11-year-olds is 10 micrograms per dose, versus the 30 micrograms dose for people 12 and older.

Research on children ages 5 to 11 shows the vaccine appears to be highly effective at preventing symptomatic infections.

According to a Food and Drug Administration document, there have been about 1.8 million reported and confirmed cases among that age group, with 143 deaths believed to be connected to the coronavirus, through Oct. 14, and 8,622 hospitalizations through Sept. 18.

It is not clear the extent to which kids are responsible for spreading the virus. Testing in the New York City school system, for instance, shows that kids have an exponentially lower rate of infection than the general population.

Meanwhile, more New York City municipal workers continue to get vaccinated to comply with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccination mandate — which requires that nearly the entire 350,000 workforce be vaccinated or face unpaid furlough.

According to the latest statistics released Saturday by de Blasio’s office, 84% of the workforce was vaccinated by Oct. 19; it’s 93% as of Friday.

The rate of FDNY firefighters rose to 81% Friday from 58% on Oct. 19, the statistics show. The NYPD was 70% on that date, and 86% as of Friday.

Police officers and firefighters have some of the lowest vaccination rates.

Across New York State, 36 people died of the virus Friday, with one from Suffolk County and one from Nassau, according to a news release Saturday from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office.

The statewide infection rate was 2.46%, averaged over seven days. It’s 1.09% in New York City and 2.40% on Long Island.

Nassau County logged 237 new daily cases Friday and Suffolk had 362. New York City had 1,062 new cases.

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