Joe Biden Says U.S. Is 'Ready' to Vaccinate Children, But Parents Remain Divided

President Joe Biden said the U.S. is ready to vaccinate children between the ages of five and 11 if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approve the shot for that age group.

However, recent polling shows that America's parents are divided on whether to get their children vaccinated against COVID and a significant proportion of parents who have been vaccinated aren't yet sure.

Biden appeared to suggest in remarks at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Thursday that approval for vaccinations for children aged five to 11 would come soon.

"Now, I know parents out there are anxiously waiting for a vaccine for children ages five to 11," Biden said.

"The good news is the FDA and outside experts from the CDC are set to make its determination as to whether the vaccine will be authorized for that age range in the next few weeks."

"If authorized, we are ready. We have purchased enough vaccines for all children between the ages of 5 and 11 in the United States. It will be — it will be convenient for parents to get their children vaccinated at trusted locations, and families will be able to sleep easier at night knowing their kids are protected as well," the president said.

A recent CBS News/YouGov poll found that just 37 percent of parents said they would have their five to 11-year-olds vaccinated, while 35 percent said they would not and 26 percent answered "maybe."

However, the CBS News poll had a margin of error of 7.2 percent on the question of parents getting their children vaccinated. That is a significant margin of error for any poll.

Nonetheless, the figures track with the most recent monthly survey regarding attitudes to vaccines from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), published on September 30.

KFF found that just 34 percent of parents would vaccinate their children against COVID "right away" when the vaccine is authorized for that age group, while 33 percent said they would "wait and see" how the vaccine is working before getting their children the shot. A further 24 percent said they would not get their child vaccinated.

That survey was conducted from September 13 to 22 and had a margin of error of 3 percent.

The CBS News poll also showed that among vaccinated parents, 11 percent said they would not get their children vaccinated against COVID, and 27 percent said "maybe." Sixty-one percent said they would get their children the shot.

The numbers are starker among unvaccinated parents with 61 percent saying they will not get their children vaccinated, 10 percent saying they will and 26 percent answering "maybe." The margin of error for that question was 2.6 percent.

While the Biden administration has strongly promoted vaccination, it remains to be seen how many parents will take up shots for their young children when they become available.

Joe Biden Receives a Vaccine Shot
U.S. President Joe Biden receives a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine in the South Court Auditorium in the White House on September 27, 2021, in Washington, DC. Biden has said the U.S. is "ready" to vaccinate children aged five to 11. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images