Majority of Americans favor requiring vaccines to return to school, poll finds


(WNCN) — A recent poll found that majority of Americans are in favor of requiring students who are old enough to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to be vaccinated in order to attend classes in the fall.

According to researchers at Gallup, support ranges from 51 percent for middle school students to 56 percent for high school students and 61 percent for college students.

Results are based on a study done by researchers between May 18-23 with more than 3,500 adults being surveyed.

The survey was conducted after the Food and Drug Administration on May 10 approved the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents as young as age 12. Moderna is currently seeking FDA approval for use of its vaccine on this age group.

The two drugmakers are currently testing the effectiveness of their vaccines on children younger than age 12, but approval is not expected before the fall.

Due to this, middle school students and those at higher levels of education are able to be vaccinated before school resumes in the fall, but elementary school students probably would not be.

Many colleges across the U.S. including many in North Carolina have rolled out vaccine requirements before students return in the fall. Some of those include Duke University, Shaw University and Wake Forest University.

Researchers also found that many adults that supported vaccines for students before returning in the fall to in-person learning were vaccinated themselves.

Meanwhile, those who do not plan to get vaccinated are overwhelmingly opposed, no matter which age group of students they were asked about.

The poll also asked parents about their plans for having their own children vaccinated. Researchers found that there were slim majorities of parents in three age ranges have either already had their children vaccinated already or plan to do so.

  • Fifty-nine percent of parents of a child aged 16 to 18 say they plan to have their child vaccinated, including 40 percent who say their child has already received the vaccine.
  • Slightly fewer parents of children between the ages of 12 and 15 — 53 percent — plan to have their child vaccinated, including 22 percent of parents of children in this age range who said their child had already received a vaccine.
  • Although children younger than 12 are currently not eligible to be vaccinated, 53 percent of parents of such children say they would plan to have their children receive a vaccine if one were approved for this age group.

What it came down to is that many adults are more likely to favor college student vaccination requirements, but are less supportive of them for high school and middle school students, comparatively.

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