Social inequalities in COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and uptake for children and adolescents in Montreal, Canada.Vaccine. 2021 12 03; 39(49):7140-7145.V
The success of current and prospective COVID-19 vaccine campaigns for children and adolescents will in part depend on the willingness of parents to accept vaccination. This study examined social determinants of parental COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and uptake for children and adolescents.
We used cross-sectional data from an ongoing COVID-19 cohort study in Montreal, Canada and included all parents of 2 to 18-year-olds who completed an online questionnaire between May 18 and June 26, 2021 (n = 809). We calculated child age-adjusted prevalence estimates of vaccine acceptance by parental education, race/ethnicity, birthplace, household income, and neighbourhood, and used multinomial logistic regression to estimate adjusted prevalence differences (aPD) and ratios (aPR). Social determinants of vaccine uptake were examined for the vaccine-eligible sample of 12 to 18 year-olds (n = 306).
Intention to vaccinate children against COVID-19 was high, with only 12.4% of parents unlikely to have their child vaccinated. Parents with younger children were less likely to accept vaccination, as were those from lower-income households, racialized groups, and those born outside Canada. Children from households with annual incomes <$100,000 had 18.4 percent lower prevalence of being vaccinated/very likely vaccinated compared to household incomes ≥$150,000 (95% CI: 10.1 to 26.7). Racialized parents reported greater unwillingness to vaccinate vs. White parents (aPD = 10.3; 95% CI: 1.5, 19.1). Vaccine-eligible adolescents from the most deprived neighbourhood were half as likely to be vaccinated compared to those from the least deprived neighbourhood (aPR = 0.48; 95% CI: 0.18 to 0.77).
This study identified marked social inequalities in COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and uptake for children and adolescents. Efforts are needed to reach disadvantaged and marginalized populations with tailored strategies that promote informed decision making and facilitate access to vaccination.