Parent/guardian intentions to vaccinate children against COVID-19 in the United States.Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2022 11 30; 18(5):2071078.HV
Vaccination is critical for protecting adults and children from COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and death. Analyzing subsamples of parent/guardians of children age 0-11 (n = 343) and 12-17 (n = 322) from a larger national survey of US adults (n = 2,022), we aimed to assess intentions to vaccinate children and how intentions might vary across parent/guardian sociodemographic characteristics, healthcare coverage, vaccination status, political affiliation, prior COVID-19 infection, exposure to COVID-19 death(s) of family or friends, perceived norms of vaccination, and COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. We also report the prevalence of vaccinated children for parents whose oldest child was eligible for vaccination at the time of the survey. More than one third of parents whose oldest child was not yet eligible for vaccination (11 or younger) planned to get them vaccinated right away when a vaccine became available to them. Among parents whose child was eligible to be vaccinated (age 12-17 years), approximately a third reported their child had already been vaccinated and approximately a third planned to do so right away. Intentions to vaccinate children age 0 to 11 were significantly associated with age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, COVID-19 vaccination, political affiliation, social norms, and COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Intentions to vaccinate children age 12 to 17 were significantly associated with age, education, healthcare coverage, COVID-19 vaccination, political affiliation, social norms, and COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. We discuss implications for public health officials and for future research.