Over Half of Parents May not Vaccinate Children for COVID-19

Reasons given for not vaccinating were safety issues and low risk for infection.

A recent study conducted by investigators from the CUNY Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health, in collaboration with the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, has found that over half of US parents said they may not vaccinate their children who are 12 years of age or younger.

Results from the study were published in the journal Vaccine.

“Preventing COVID-19 in children is of critical importance not only for the individual health benefits but also because it will contribute to stopping the spread of infections in communities and households,” the authors wrote. “High coverage of COVID-19 vaccination among children will help stop transmission and will allow for safe return to normal activities, including fully opening schools.”

For the study, the team of investigators conducted an online, community-based survey among 2,074 parents in the United States and 1,119 in New York City who had children under the age of 12 years old.

The study was conducted between March and April of 2021 and asked parents if they would vaccinate their child for COVID-19 once approved for their age group, and if not, why they didn’t want their child to receive the vaccine.

Findings from the study showed that only 49% of the study participants said that they planned on vaccinating their children under 12, while 26% said they were unsure and 25% said they will not vaccinate their child when the vaccines are approved for them.

Additionally, the study found that parents who did not have a college education and made less than $25,000 a year were most likely to be vaccine hesitant. It was also seen that Asian parents were the mostly likely to say that they will vaccinate their children.

“The results of our survey, suggesting that as many as half of U.S. parents do not want to vaccinate their children for Covid-19, are concerning, but we can use this information while we await pediatric vaccine approval to work on improving future uptake,” Chloe Teasdale, lead investigator on the study said. “We should start now to develop and deliver information campaigns to help parents understand the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, as well as the real dangers to children from Covid-19 infection.”