Public split on how to address Delta surge: Most favor mandatory masks but cautious on requiring vaccinations for kids

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Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

As the spread of the delta variant threatens the safety of classrooms, a poll released [August 11] found nearly two-thirds of parents support schools’ requiring unvaccinated students age 5 or older and teachers to wear masks. A majority of parents, however, oppose requiring students now eligible for a covid vaccine to get one, with one Black parent from Michigan telling pollsters that “my child is not a test dummy.”

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Predictably, views on masking and vaccination split consistently along party lines, with Democratic parents generally supporting them and Republicans much more resistant. Sixty-nine percent of Republican parents oppose mandatory masking. More than three-quarters of Black parents and Hispanic parents support mask requirements while only a slim majority of white parents back masks.

So far, no vaccine has been authorized for children under 12, but most of their parents remain cautious. Just 26% said they will get their school-age children vaccinated as soon as possible. An additional 40% plan to wait and see, and most of the remainder said they will refuse even if it is required.

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