(WFRV) – The majority of parents in Wisconsin have chosen not to vaccinate their kids because they are concerned about the side effects, a new study revealed.

In January, the United States Census Bureau conducted a nationwide Household Pulse Survey (HPS) to find real-time data on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected people’s lives.

The survey was sent out to over one million households in the U.S. and included questions surrounding child tax credit payments, education, employment, food security, housing, and COVID-19 vaccinations for kids ages 5 to 17 years old.

Using the data from the HPS survey, specifically focusing on COVID-19 vaccinations, QuoteWizard, a leading insurance comparison platform, created a table of the top five reasons why parents are hesitating to have their children vaccinated.

The top five reasons are as follows:

  • Parents are concerned about COVID-19 vaccine side effects
  • Parents are not sure if the child needs the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Parents are waiting to see if the COVID-19 vaccine is safe
  • Parents don’t trust the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Parents don’t vaccinate their kids

Below is a breakdown of how Wisconsinites responded to the heavily controversial question: What are the reasons for you not wanting your children ages 5 to 17 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

** Note: Respondents were allowed to choose multiple reasons, so the percentages in the table below won’t add up to 100 percent.

Parents concerned about COVID-19 vaccine side effects

Out of the 50 states, 48 of them, including Wisconsin, had the majority of people state that they chose not to have their kids vaccinated because they are concerned about the side effects.

In Wisconsin, 66 percent of parents said they haven’t vaccinated their kids because they are concerned about the side effects.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been working to dispel these fears and remind parents that the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 and older has undergone thorough evaluations by both FDA and CDC.

“The COVID-19 vaccine for children is safe and effective. It has undergone rigorous review, and now has been authorized by FDA and recommended by CDC for children between the ages of 5 to 11 years, after thorough testing for safety in thousands of children,” wrote the CDC.

Furthermore, the CDC noted that short-term side effects from the vaccine are mild in children and can also be a good sign that the child’s body is fighting the infection.

Common short-term COVID-19 vaccine side effects include:

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore arm
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

In terms of long-term side effects, the CDC noted, “Adverse effects that could cause a long-term health problem are extremely unusual following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination.”

While rare, the following serious adverse effects stemming from the vaccine have reportedly occurred:

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS)
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)
  • Myocarditis and pericarditis

For more information on these rare, but serious, side effects, visit the CDC website.

Parents don’t think child needs COVID-19 vaccine

According to the HPS, 37 percent of parents in Wisconsin have chosen not to vaccinate their kids because they believe children don’t need the COVID-19 vaccine.

Well the CDC says differently.

Children are just as likely to contract COVID-19 as adults are and with infection comes the possibility of not only spreading the virus to others but also developing serious symptoms and/or conditions.

The CDC confirmed that since the pandemic began, more than 2,300 cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) have been reported in children ages 5 through 11 years.

MIS-C is a serious condition where different body parts (e.g. heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs) become inflamed.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) shared that since the beginning of the pandemic, 183 cases of MIS-C have been reported in Wisconsin.

Unfortunately, on Feb. 18, 2022, the first child from Wisconsin was reported to have died due to MIS-C.

Parents wanting to protect their children from developing this serious and possibly fatal condition are advised to get their children vaccinated and boosted.

For more information on why the CDC encourages kids to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the CDC website.

Parents don’t trust the COVID-19 vaccine

In Wisconsin, 30 percent of parents have opted out of vaccinating their children because they simply don’t trust the COVID-19 vaccine, the HPS survey revealed.

Since the vaccines were first approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC, there has been continued skepticism on the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.

According to Dr. Luis Seija, an internal medicine and pediatrics resident at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, the mRNA vaccines have been in development even since before the pandemic started.

The CDC echoes this statement sharing, “Scientists have been working for many years to develop vaccines against coronaviruses, such as those that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is related to these other coronaviruses. The knowledge that was gained through past research on coronavirus vaccines helped speed up the initial development of the current COVID-19 vaccines.”

Because health officials had years of research in hand, they were able to move from the initial developmental stage to the clinical trials rather quickly.

The clinical trials were divvied up into three phases and involved thorough testing on tens of thousands of volunteers of different ages, races, and ethnicities.

“The vaccines have been tested on hundreds of thousands and continue to be monitored,” Dr. Seija added. “In order for it to be approved in this age group (ages 5 to 11), there were actually children that were involved in the clinical trials.”

Moreover, the CDC confirmed that results from these trials showed that the COVID-19 vaccine is effective, especially against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Following the clinical trials, all of the research and data were made available to the FDA for final assessment.

After receiving authorization from the FDA, the approved vaccines were manufactured and distributed to the general public. The CDC and FDA confirm that they are actively continuing to monitor the vaccines.

For more information about how the COVID-19 vaccines came to fruition, visit the CDC website.

Parents don’t vaccinate their kids

Across all 50 states, parents who don’t believe in vaccinations were in the minority.

According to the HPS, 4 percent of Wisconsin parents said they didn’t want their kids to receive the COVID-19 vaccine because they just don’t believe in vaccinations.

Healthline.com shared the following reasons that are oftentimes cited as reasons why people refuse to get vaccinated:

  • Religious beliefs
  • Belief that diseases were disappearing due to better sanitation and hygiene, not vaccines
  • Belief that a vaccine wouldn’t protect you
  • Belief that the risks outweigh the benefits
    • Parents cite many medical risks, including autism, as potential consequences of being vaccinated.
  • Parents don’t trust pharmaceutical companies
  • Natural immunity is better than vaccine-acquired immunity
  • Vaccinations aren’t necessary because infection rates are already so low in US

These have been circulating for decades resulting in medical professionals using their research to address debunk these beliefs.

PublicHealth.org is one of these medical organizations trying to provide scientific responses to these beliefs and continue protecting the public’s health.

For more information, visit the Public Health website. To read more about the HPS study and its findings, click here.