Mixed Prospects for Vaccinating Children

In this Axios column, Drew Altman examines the data about what parents say they will do once their children ages 5-11 become eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, and why it will take some time and a concerted outreach effort to match adult vaccination rates.

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A Look at Who is Still Not Vaccinated Against COVID

In this Axios column, Drew Altman takes on the idea that communities of color are behind the problem of the unvaccinated in the U.S.

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Why The California Recall Is Not a Harbinger of What Is to Come on COVID As a Campaign Issue

In this Axios column, Drew Altman examines the lessons for COVID-19 as a political issue from Governor Gavin Newsom’s resounding win in California’s recall election.

Column Read Post

Parents Report More Negative Pandemic Effects on Kids Who Attend School Virtually vs. In-Person

In his latest Axios column, Drew Altman shows that parents feel that children have fared better during COVID attending school in-person than virtually in terms of academic performance and their mental health and wellbeing.

Column Read Post

How Full FDA Approval Could Spur Vaccination

In this Axios column, Drew Altman says full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccines can provide a big boost to vaccination efforts if treated as an opportunity for updated messaging from government officials at all levels and public health experts and new actions from employers.

Column Read Post

The Health System Appears To Be Selling LGBT+ People Short

With much focus on equity in the nation’s health care system during the pandemic, Drew Altman’s Axios column brings attention to warning signs about health care provided to LGBT+ individuals.

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                    [post_content] => In this Axios column, Drew Altman examines the data about what parents say they will do once their children ages 5-11 become eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, and why it will take some time and a concerted outreach effort by pediatricians, schools, local media, public health groups and other trusted sources to match adult vaccination rates.
                    [post_title] => Mixed Prospects for Vaccinating Children
                    [post_excerpt] => In this Axios column, Drew Altman examines the data about what parents say they will do once their children ages 5-11 become eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, and why it will take some time and a concerted outreach effort to match adult vaccination rates.
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                    [post_content] => In this Axios column, Drew Altman takes on the idea that communities of color are behind the problem of the unvaccinated in the U.S.
                    [post_title] => A Look at Who is Still Not Vaccinated Against COVID
                    [post_excerpt] => In this Axios column, Drew Altman takes on the idea that communities of color are behind the problem of the unvaccinated in the U.S.
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                    [post_content] => A shorter version of this column has been published by Axios.

Some have interpreted Governor Gavin Newsom’s win in the California recall election as a mandate for Democrats to go strong on COVID in their election campaigns. Supporting COVID measures to protect the public is the right stance for any elected official regardless of how the votes may fall, but there is little evidence to suggest it is a winning campaign platform for Democrats in more purple states or for that matter that Newsom might not have achieved the same result in Democrat-heavy California without his positions on COVID.

Nationally, according to our new KFF Vaccine Monitor, Democrats retain a slight edge over Republicans when it comes to who voters see as having the better approach to handling the pandemic, but independents are divided with 32% preferring what they see as the Democratic Party’s approach, 27% the Republican Party’s approach, and another 27% saying they prefer neither. While most independent voters (61%) say the U.S. response to the pandemic hasn’t changed which party’s candidates to support in future elections, 21% say it makes them more likely to support Republican candidates and 15% say it makes them more likely to support Democrats.

Independents also see the hot button COVID issues differently than Democrats do.
  • For example, 77% of registered Democratic voters say employers should require employees to get vaccinated unless they have a medical exemption compared with 44% of registered Independents who say the same thing.
  • 51% of registered Independents say schools should require students and staff to wear masks compared with 83% of registered Democrats who say that.
Democratic candidates also have many other health issues to campaign on with wider support across the political spectrum, from drug price negotiation to Medicaid expansion to expanding Medicare benefits for seniors to strengthening ACA coverage and services for the disabled, assuming they pass some or all of those measures. Almost 80% of the American people say they expect the U.S. will learn to live with an endemic lower level pandemic more like the flu, and more effective treatments in pill form are on the horizon. That suggests the administration and Democrats can lay out a path forward voters will now accept as success on COVID without totally eradicating the virus in the U.S. Republicans will rally their base using the response to COVID to mobilize anti-government and anti-administration fervor. But it is not at all clear that is a winning general election strategy. The California recall shows that Democrats can also rally their base around strong public health measures. But the general election will look nothing like a California recall with many purple states in play, and for both sides, by the time the midterm election takes shape it may be that COVID is not the galvanizing issue it is today. [post_title] => Why The California Recall Is Not a Harbinger of What Is to Come on COVID As a Campaign Issue [post_excerpt] => In this Axios column, Drew Altman examines the lessons for COVID-19 as a political issue from Governor Gavin Newsom's resounding win in California’s recall election. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => why-the-california-recall-is-not-a-harbinger-of-what-is-to-come-on-covid-as-a-campaign-issue [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-09-28 05:49:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-09-28 09:49:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.kff.org/?post_type=perspective&p=533942 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => perspective [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 530770 [post_author] => 36621681 [post_date] => 2021-08-20 05:00:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-08-20 09:00:06 [post_content] => A shorter version of this column has been published by Axios. Parents are much more likely to report their kids are experiencing negative effects if they are going to school virtually during the pandemic than if they attend school in person. The new findings from our KFF Vaccine Monitor underscore the importance of keeping kids in school in person, which means doing it safely with masking for younger children and school staff despite controversies over mask requirements. Almost half (47%) of parents whose kids attended school virtually or a mix of in-person and virtual during the last school year say they fell behind academically compared with a quarter (26%) of parents whose kids attended all or mostly in person. 46% of parents say their kids attending schools virtually fell behind in their social and emotional development compared with 31% of kids who went to school. One in five (22%) parents of kids who went to school say their kids experienced mental health or behavioral problems due to COVID, but the number rose to 39% for kids whose school experience was largely through a computer screen. Analysis of the data showed that how children got their education (in-person or online) explained these differences in academic performance and wellbeing reported by parents, even when accounting for differences in the parent’s income or education or race or whether the schools were public or private. The findings also reinforce the urgency of getting 12-18 year-olds and then younger children as well as school personnel vaccinated as soon as possible so children can safely return to school where their parents report they experience both better academic and mental health outcomes. [post_title] => Parents Report More Negative Pandemic Effects on Kids Who Attend School Virtually vs. In-Person [post_excerpt] => In his latest Axios column, Drew Altman shows that parents feel that children have fared better during COVID attending school in-person than virtually in terms of academic performance and their mental health and wellbeing. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => parents-report-more-negative-pandemic-effects-on-kids-who-attend-school-virtually-vs-in-person [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-08-20 07:48:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-08-20 11:48:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.kff.org/?post_type=perspective&p=530770 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => perspective [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 530222 [post_author] => 36621681 [post_date] => 2021-08-13 05:00:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-08-13 09:00:50 [post_content] => A shorter version of this column has been published by Axios. FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine can provide a big boost to vaccination efforts or a more modest one, depending on how it is handled when the approval comes down. If FDA approval is left to be interpreted by the public through the countless channels of communication and misinformation people use to digest vaccine information, the effect of the decision will be much more modest or even muddled. If on the other hand the President and federal health officials, state and local officials and public health experts use it as an opportunity to refresh the vaccine message, and employers jump on it as cover to move forward even more aggressively with passports and mandates, it could provide a big boost to vaccination efforts. It’s the next and probably the last big opportunity to sharpen and drive home a clear message that the COVID vaccines are safe and effective. Three in ten of the unvaccinated ( 31%) report in our KFF Vaccine Monitor surveys that they would be more likely to get vaccinated if the FDA moved vaccines from emergency use to full approval. That’s because many unvaccinated people worry that the vaccines are experimental and fears about the safety of the vaccine are a major reason some groups are hesitant to get vaccinated. FDA approval offers an opportunity to aggressively address safety and efficacy concerns. Lack of FDA approval has allowed the idea that the vaccines are unsafe or ineffective to fester. More than half of the unvaccinated are also unsure what the status of FDA approval is. Approval also offers an opportunity to clear up substantial public confusion. Some employers who have imposed vaccine mandates, including hospitals, have faced blowback from some employees. Approval will provide justification and cover for them. And most important of all, it can boost vaccinations by emboldening more local governments and employers to move ahead with passports and mandates.  Education Secretary Cardona underscored the point in a recent Washington Post interview: “I would favor the vaccine being required but … having the FDA do the final approval on it would make some who don’t feel comfortable feel comfortable.” For government and the private sector to capitalize on FDA approval and make the most of it planning will have to begin now, so government, public health campaigns and employers are ready to go when the FDA decision is made. [post_title] => How Full FDA Approval Could Spur Vaccination [post_excerpt] => In this Axios column, Drew Altman says full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccines can provide a big boost to vaccination efforts if treated as an opportunity for updated messaging from government officials at all levels and public health experts and new actions from employers. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => how-full-fda-authorization-could-spur-vaccination [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-08-22 16:49:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-08-22 20:49:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.kff.org/?post_type=perspective&p=530222 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => perspective [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 529289 [post_author] => 36621681 [post_date] => 2021-08-02 05:00:16 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-08-02 09:00:16 [post_content] => A shorter version of this column has been published by Axios. The issue doesn’t get much attention, and the available data are limited, but what we know should be a wake-up call for the health professionals and health care institutions about the care provided to LGBT+ people. The big number: over a third of LGBT+ people – those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or something else other than straight – say they have had a negative experience with a provider over the last two years. Those bad experiences range from their provider not believing they were telling them the truth, to suggesting they were to blame for their health problems, to making assumptions about them without asking, to outright dismissing their concerns. That compares with 22 percent for non LGBT+ people. At the same time, they have been hit harder by COVID in certain ways, including being more likely to have had to quit their job because of the pandemic.  More than half of LGBT+ people who report having problems paying medical bills in the past 12 months say it was at least in part because of the pandemic. LGBT+ people need a health system that is responsive because they are more likely to be low income and have a chronic condition or disability. Most LGBT+ people (72%) have a doctor or health care provider they see when they need care, mostly a family practitioner or an internist, just as non LBGT+ folks do (78%). That means it is likely not where they seek care that is different, it is their providers who appear to be letting them down. One good thing: LGBT+ people are more likely to discuss mental health and non-medical issues such as housing or transportation with doctors, likely reflecting their higher needs in these areas. There is an obvious need for more research and data to sort out what is behind these warning signals about LGBT+ health care. But they are also a challenge to the health system to address problems in the provider-patient relationship LGBT+ patients see that can be corrected without waiting for more research. [post_title] => The Health System Appears To Be Selling LGBT+ People Short [post_excerpt] => With much focus on equity in the nation’s health care system during the pandemic, Drew Altman’s Axios column brings attention to warning signs about health care provided to LGBT+ individuals. 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[post_title] => Mixed Prospects for Vaccinating Children [post_excerpt] => In this Axios column, Drew Altman examines the data about what parents say they will do once their children ages 5-11 become eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, and why it will take some time and a concerted outreach effort to match adult vaccination rates. 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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.