Report Shows Wyoming Ranks 2nd for Vaccine Hesitancy Among Children
According to a report by HelpAdvisory, in Wyoming over 31% of households with children ages 12-17 will probably not or definitely not vaccinate their children.
That is the second highest percentage of vaccine hesitancy among children in the country, just behind West Virginia at 32.2%, with New Jersey ranking the lowest at 3.5%.
Over 25% of households in Wyoming said they are concerned about the possible side effects from the COVID vaccine as the top reason for "probably not" or "definitely not" vaccinating their children.
Of households in Wyoming with children that weren't already vaccinated, just 1% said they were definitely going to get vaccinated.
According to the Wyoming Department of Health, vaccination rates for children 12 to 17 is the lowest of any group at 24.2%, which may be lower than the total due to not including vaccinations done at tribal, Veteran Association and military facilities.
Christian Worstell, content marketing specialist with HelpAdvisory, said it makes sense for a state like Wyoming to have high vaccine hesitancy among children aged 12 to 17, as it also has a low vaccination rate overall.
"Most states right now, kids ages 12 to 17 need a parental consent to get the vaccine...and in Wyoming you need that parental consent. When you have an adult population that's pretty vaccine hesitant, it just makes that they're not going to vaccinate their kids."
Worstell said misinformation and conspiracy theories are a big factor in stopping more people from getting vaccinated, and that there was a study done by Tranzact, owner of HelpAdvisory, last year looking at where COVID-19 conspiracies were popular, with Wyoming ranking the most popular for conspiracies surrounding the virus, which Worstell believes might be related to low vaccination rates.