Israel on Tuesday officially launched its coronavirus vaccination campaign for children aged 5-11, becoming the second country to do so after the United States.
Thus far only 2.35 % of parents have registered they children to receive the jabs despite health care providers preparation to offer vaccines to all those who want them.
"We already know that less than half the parents of children in that age group said they would vaccinate their children in the initial stage," Angela Eroni, head of the Sharon District at Maccabi HMO said. "The rest are still hesitant, just as was the case with vaccines for the 12 to 16 age group. I think the response is better than I anticipated. If we inoculate 3,000 children today – it would be good."
Eroni warned of misinformation on social media platforms that contributes to parent' hesitation.
The concerns that vaccines could impact girl's menstrual cycle play a role in parents' reluctance, Eroni said.
"I heard parents talk about their fears that vaccines impact the reproductive system. Some women experienced changes to the menstruation cycle but there is no impact on their fertility," she said. "If I had children in that age group, I would not hesitate to administer them the vaccine," Eroni said.
"Parents are concerned and prefer to wait and see, but we do not stress enough that two million children have already been vaccinated in the United States. We are not Guinee Pigs and our experts have determined that the vaccines are safe."