Almost half of all parents say that they won’t send their child to school if a COVID-19 vaccine is required, according to a new poll.
The poll, conducted by Morning Consult, found that 43 percent of parents are opposed to COVID-19 vaccine requirements for students returning to school.
According to the poll, 51 percent of parents disagreed and said they would prefer their child to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus before returning to school, while 44 percent of parents said that all students should be vaccinated before returning to school.
The percentage of parents who are opposed to a vaccine mandate in schools is down by nearly 10 percent from a previous poll conducted in August, which found 51 percent of respondents saying that they will not send their child to school if a COVID-19 vaccine is required.
On the other hand, the poll found that 60 percent of parents believe that all teachers should be vaccinated against the coronavirus before returning to the classroom.
A separate poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found similar results in August, with 58 percent of parents of children between the ages of 12 and 17 saying that don’t want their child’s school to require a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Morning Consult poll also found that an increasing number of parents believe that schools across the nation are opening up too soon amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the poll, 38 percent of parents said that schools are reopening “too quickly,” which is the most the poll has recorded since March 1, 2021. At the beginning of August, just 28 percent of respondents said that schools were reopening too quickly, but this number has continued to increase over the past month.
Less than 40 percent of parents surveyed want only in-person instruction for their children, while 38 percent said a mix between hybrid in-person and online. Sixteen percent said they wanted only online instruction.
The Morning Consult poll surveyed 493 parents of children ages 5 to 18 from September 1-5.
The poll’s findings come amid a debate over COVID-19 vaccine requirements for students as they return to the classroom full time. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that all children aged 12 and older should get inoculated against the coronavirus.
A recent report from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that as more schools have reopened for in-person learning, at least 252,000 children have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week. The report said that this was the largest increase in COVID-19 cases among children since the pandemic began.
Newsweek reached out to the CDC for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.