Parents hesitant about getting kids COVID-19 vaccines

By staff writers

April 1, 2021 -- Parents have higher levels of hesitancy about getting their children vaccinated against COVID-19 than they do about getting shots for themselves, according to a survey released on March 31.

The survey was conducted by ParentsTogether, a nonprofit organization with 2.5 million families across the U.S. More than 970 parents participated in the survey, which was conducted via Facebook Messenger between March 7 and 12.

Parents are 17% less likely to say they will or likely will vaccinate their children when they become eligible, compared with their plans to vaccinate themselves, the survey showed. About 70% of parents have already been vaccinated or are planning to get vaccinated. However, only 58% of parents said they would or probably would get their children vaccinated.

Parents cited hesitation due to potential side effects of vaccines and questions about whether vaccinating children was necessary. Hispanic and Black parents, as well as households earning less than $20,000 per year, were more likely to be unsure about getting their children vaccinated.

On the other hand, parents who know someone who has been vaccinated are more likely to want to vaccinate their children, according to the survey.

A total of 44% of parents who knew someone who had been vaccinated plan to vaccinate their children, compared with 22% of parents who didn't know anyone who had been vaccinated. Controlling for race and income, knowing someone who has been vaccinated increases the likelihood that a parent will probably or definitely vaccinate their kids by 50%.

"The survey shows that one of the most significant things public health advocates can do to encourage parents to vaccinate their children is to increase their awareness about people they know who have already been vaccinated," co-authors Bethany Robertson and Adam Ukman wrote in a report of the findings.

Copyright © 2021

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