Study examines COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and uptake in autism community

autism
Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

A new study examines factors associated with COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and uptake in the autism community. Findings from the study will be presented during the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2022 Meeting, taking place April 21-25 in Denver.

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder are at increased risk of hospitalization from COVID-19. Vaccines reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 infection and severity of disease. Historically, parents of children with autism spectrum disorder are more likely to be vaccine hesitant, thus delaying or declining childhood vaccinations.

The study found early COVID-19 waned over time and a majority of caregivers and dependents received the vaccine following FDA approval. Firmly held vaccine-hesitant beliefs, not specific to COVID-19, influenced vaccine uptake in a minority of caregivers.

"We conducted this study to better understand how baseline vaccine hesitancy in the autism community, which is higher than the , was impacting parent decision-making about COVID-19 vaccines," said J. Kiely Law, MD, MPH, director of research operations at SPARK, a Simons Foundation autism research initiative. "This was especially important to understand since other studies were finding that children with developmental disabilities, like autism, were at increased risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19. Getting children vaccinated was critical to reducing this risk."

New study examines COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and uptake in autism community
Participant Characteristics & COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy at Time 1 (pre-approval of vaccines). Credit: Kennedy Krieger Institute

Dr. Law added that "early on, 60% of parents were hesitant about their child receiving the COVID-19 . Ten months later, it was reassuring to see that the majority of parents in our study made the decision for their child with autism to get vaccinated."

More information: Conference: www.pas-meeting.org/

Citation: Study examines COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and uptake in autism community (2022, April 22) retrieved 15 June 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-04-covid-vaccine-hesitancy-uptake-autism.html
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