Most Americans oppose requiring young children to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to return to school, a new poll has found.

“Slightly less than half of Americans, 48%, believe elementary students should be vaccinated in order to attend classes, while slim majorities favor vaccinations for middle school, high school and college students,” the polling organization Gallup found.

Gallup conducted the poll between July 26 and August 2, 2022.

Intriguingly, the poll found that parents of school-age children are “significantly less likely” to support vaccination requirements than nonparents are.

Fifty one percent of nonparents support vaccine requirements for elementary school students, while just 38% of parents with school-age children do.

Gallup also found, unsurprisingly, that the deepest divide among the poll’s subgroups was between party affiliation.

“More than eight in 10 Democrats favor vaccination mandates for all student groups, while fewer than two in 10 Republicans agree,” Gallup noted.

The debate over whether students should be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to receive in-person instruction is heating up again as students across the nation return to school.

Last year, California became the first state in the nation to announce a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for schools.

“The COVID-19 vaccine will be required for in-person school attendance – just like vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella and more,” a press release from the governor’s office stated.

However, since that announcement, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has waffled and delayed implementation of the requirement.

California will not require students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the 2022-2023 school year, and “any vaccine requirements would not take effect until after full FDA approval and no sooner than July 1, 2023,” the agency now states.

According to data provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.1% of children ages two to four years old have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Additionally, 30.4% of those age five to 11 have been fully vaccinated while 60.3% of 12- to 17-year-olds have been.

Some parents, acting in what they believe is the best interest of their children, will choose to vaccinate them against COVID-19.

But other parents, acting with the same intentions, will choose otherwise.

Either way, parents should be able to continue to make what they believe is the best choice for their children.

At Focus on the Family, we’re committed to helping you make informed and wise decisions regarding your children’s health and education.

To learn more about how at risk children are from COVID-19, click here.

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Millions of Children Have Received the COVID-19 Vaccine. But Are Kids Really at Risk from COVID?

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