More than 1K children in Texas’ foster care are allowed to refuse COVID-19 care
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - As of early January 2022, 40% of the children in the state’s permanent managing conservatorship (PMC) are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine but choose to remain unvaccinated, according to the Third Report oft he Monitors regarding COVID-19 vaccination status.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) caseworkers called children as young as five years old on the phone, asking them to consent to a potentially life-saving vaccine, but were also given the option to refuse. For the 3,898 PMC children who are eligible for vaccination and are not, DFPS included the reasons for lack of immunization:
- 55% (2,124) of children identified the lack of vaccination as “other.”
- 26% (1,025) of eligible children for the vaccine refused it.
- 10% (413) of the children’s parents rejected the vaccine for the child.
- 7.7% (302) had missing files concerning why the child was not vaccinated.
- And for 0.1% (4), DFPS reported the child was not eligible for vaccination due to age (although data indicates the child was five years old.)
The DFPS’ most recent report indicated that between September 1, 2021, and February 17, 2022, 579 PMC children tested positive.
Another report from February 2022 showed that more than 5,000 of the vaccine-eligible population in long-term foster care have medical conditions that place them at high risk for severe illness from COVID. Almost half of those children (47%) are unvaccinated, and of these children, 39% are unvaccinated due to refusal.
Children between the ages of five and seven years old had the lowest rate of vaccination (two doses) at 15% (187), while children between 14 and 16 years old had the highest rate at 52% (1011.)
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