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90% of guardians in Tokyo ward worried about COVID vaccinations for children aged 5-11

This January 2021 file photo shows syringes for coronavirus vaccines. (Mainichi/Naotsune Umemura)

TOKYO -- About 90% of children's guardians surveyed in the capital's Koto Ward expressed concern about coronavirus vaccinations for 5 to 11 years old, results showed.

    The survey was conducted by the Koto Ward Office using the free messaging app Line from Feb. 10 to 13 for children's guardians living in the ward, and received responses from 2,041 people. When asked if they were concerned about vaccinations, 809 respondents, or 39.6%, said they were "very concerned," 1,015, or 49.7%, said they were "a little concerned," and 217, or 10.6%, said they were "not concerned."

    Regarding whether they would like to have their children vaccinated, 48.7% of respondents answered that they would want to after observing the situation and if there were no problems, followed by 31.3% who said they would want to as soon as possible and 20% who said they would not want to.

    Asked what information is needed to decide whether to have their kids get COVID shots, 86.3% of the respondents sought data on "adverse reactions and risks" and 8% chose "effects of inoculation." Other information such as "definition of underlying diseases" and "where to go for advice in case of adverse reactions" were also cited.

    The ward office conducted the questionnaire to understand the specific opinions and thoughts of children's guardians before starting the vaccination program for children aged 5 to 11. Following the results, the ward office plans to make efforts to provide more information to residents.

    The official in charge of the survey said, "In addition to the ward continuing to provide information to its residents, we'll ask the Japanese government to properly convey the information it has in order to resolve the public's concerns."

    (Japanese original by Kazuo Yanagisawa, Tokyo Bureau)

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