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Parental concern may limit public health benefit from younger child vaccinations

We're explaining the difference between the available COVID-19 vaccines.
Despite parental concerns about the safety of the vaccine, an OSF HealthCare executive pointed to the hundreds of millions of people already vaccinated without serious or prolonged side effects.

There might actually be more vaccination hesitancy by parents considering the COVID shots for their kids than for any other age group. At least one school district estimates just 20-30% of children ages 5-11 will get the vaccine.

OSF HealthCare Chief Operating Officer Mike Cruz said that's not going to do a lot to shut down the spread of the virus in a community.

"Will it have substantive impact in the community at large knowing that you are only going to get to 20-30 (percent)? I'll be brutally honest. That's not what I would aspire to or target," said Cruz.

He said true benefits limiting the spread of the coronavirus will happen with vaccination rates at 90% or above, adding it's it's still worth parents getting their children vaccinated.

"It's nice. It's good. it's good for them and their family. It's good for the kiddo and for their interaction with grandma and grandpa. Absolutely, I think there is a get," said Cruz.

Despite parental concerns about the safety of the vaccine, Cruz pointed to the hundreds of millions of people already vaccinated without serious or prolonged side effects. He lamented the lack of public education on the issue and how much attention is paid to non-credible information sources about the COVID vaccine.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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