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jab rollout 51% of parents 'not comfortable' with 5-12 year olds receiving Covid-19 vaccine 

It comes as Pfizer have sought approval to use their vaccine for children in Europe

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New research has found that 51% of parents with children aged five-12 would not be comfortable with them receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.

The findings come from Zahra’s end-of-year consumer sentiment report, which investigates the feelings, shared experiences and pain points of 6,017 consumers in Ireland.

The new figures come as the Irish government plans to extend the vaccine rollout to children in this age group.

Pfizer are currently seeking approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the EU’s medical regulator, to extend their vaccine to children between five and 11-year-olds, as they are currently approved for those over 12.

In October, the EMA began reviewing data from Pfizer’s clinical trials on how effective the vaccine is for younger children, with the outcome of the decision expected this month.

If the EMA approves the use of the Pfizer vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds, the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC), an independent expert group of scientists and academics, will also review the data and trial results before making a recommendation to the government about its suitability.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved the use of the vaccine for five to 11 year olds in the United States at the end of October.

Further research revealed in the report showed that of those research participants pregnant in the past year, 54% did not choose to avail of the vaccination. The majority of this group (62%) state they were not comfortable receiving the vaccine during pregnancy.

According to a report by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, there were 35 Covid-19 patients in ICU between June and November 2021, who were pregnant, or within six weeks of having given birth.

None of the 35 were fully vaccinated. The report said that one of the women was partially vaccinated and the other 34 were unvaccinated.

Zahra's consumer sentiment report also found that 84% of people across Ireland would avail of the Covid-19 booster jab if offered.

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The top three reasons given for opposing the booster are: it is “unnecessary” (44%), people stating they are already following the necessary measures to avoid contracting the virus (36%), and reluctance due to having experienced bad side-effects from receiving the Covid-19 vaccine (12%).

Meanwhile, 54% of participants believe that another lockdown is on the horizon in the lead up to Christmas.

According to the study, people across the nation are treading cautiously when it comes to visiting the homes of family and friends over Christmas - with 61% of participants not planning to socialise in other households over the festive break.

This follows through to Christmas Day, which will be a small affair for most, with 86% favouring an intimate gathering with immediate family over a celebration including extended family and friends.

When it comes to looking back at 2021, participants had mixed emotions.

40% feel let down as they believed life would return to normal once the majority of the population were vaccinated, 38% enjoyed 2021 and the slower pace of life that came with it, while 22% can’t wait to see the back of 2021.

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