Miranda Valle, Addyth G., Freytes Terrada, Gisselle M., Mitwalli Tania, Colón Berríos Sara S., Rivera Rivera

Llelyane, P., Martínez Rodríguez Natalia M., Meléndez Nieves, Bianca P., and Prats Figueroa, Natalia N.

Mentor: Dr. Wanda Figueroa Cosme

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the pediatric population has been one of the most vulnerable groups of our society, due to the unprecedented consequences of social distancing measures and lockdowns. In order to protect this population, vaccines against COVID-19 have been developed, yet there is evidence showing some resistance from parents and guardians. In order to achieve the success of vaccination campaigns in Puerto Rico, we believe that it is imperative for the scientific community to identify the possible hindrances to pediatric immunizations against COVID-19. This study aims to investigate parents’ and guardians’ opinions towards the vaccine administration for their children. Our preliminary data is based on 81 participants from the Northern area of Puerto Rico that answered a questionnaire based on the parents’ and guardians’ perspectives on the approval or denial of the administration of COVID-19 vaccines for their children. This questionnaire was answered by the participants before the latest approval of the vaccine for the ages of 5 and older. Of the answers we obtained, 67% were parents of children younger than 12 years old, while 33% were 12 years old or older. In addition, 81% of the responder were mothers, 17% were fathers and a 2% identified as “Other.” From the responses obtained, only 19% of the participants completely agreed with the premise stating that the information provided regarding the vaccine against COVID-19 was trustworthy; 42% of the participants answered that they agreed, yielding an approximate total of 61% of participants that trust the information provided in regards to the COVID-19 vaccine. On the other hand, 26% neither agreed nor disagreed; while 10% of the participants disagreed with the premise, and 4% completely disagreed. When asked if they would vaccinate their child against COVID-19, 64% responded in favor of vaccinating their child. In contrast, 21% answered that they would not vaccinate their child, while 15% of the participants remained unsure whether they would vaccinate or not their child. Taking into consideration this preliminary data, there seems to be a correlation between the 61% of the participants trusting the information provided and the 64% that are willing to let their child receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The results of this study could be crucial for the success of vaccination campaigns and programs, thereby helping Puerto Rico’s public health and the pediatric population in need.

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