Kids’ low COVID-19 vaccination rates called a ‘gut punch’

Suspicion, misinformation and other factors have combined to produce what authorities say are alarmingly low COVID-19 vaccination rates in U.S. children ages 5 to 11. As of Tuesday, just over 17% of these youngsters were fully vaccinated, more than two months after shots for them became available. There was a pre-holiday surge after the shots were introduced last fall, but the numbers have crept up slowly since then, and omicron’s out-of-control spread appears to have had little effect. One doctor says the low rates and rising hospitalizations among children are a “gut punch.”