Child vaccination rates and parent willingness to vaccinate their children
Despite expanded eligibility, vaccination rates remained low among children who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Twenty-three percent (23%) of parents with a child aged 5-11 years old and one quarter (25%) of parents with a child aged 12-18 years old said their child has received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Parents who are vaccinated themselves were more likely to vaccinate their children against COVID-19. Among vaccinated parents, 57% said their child aged 5-11 years old was also vaccinated, and 52% said their child aged 12-18 years was vaccinated.
Overall, parents may be less willing to vaccinate their younger children. Among parents with unvaccinated children aged 5-11 years old, nearly half (49%) said they are not very likely or not at all likely to vaccinate their child; seven percent (7%) felt unsure. Forty-four percent (44%) report that they are very or somewhat likely to vaccinate their 5-11 year old in the future.
Parents with older children may be more willing to have them vaccinated against COVID-19. Among parents with unvaccinated children aged 12 to 18 years, over half (53%) were very or somewhat likely to vaccinate their child in the future; 7% felt unsure; 40% were not very likely or not at all likely to vaccinate their child.
When asked about the likelihood of vaccinating their child under 5 years old once that age group is eligible, 46% of parents said they are very likely or somewhat likely to vaccinate their child. Forty-five percent (45%) were not willing to vaccinate their child and 9% were unsure. These sentiments may change if vaccination becomes available to this age group, though these data point to a continued need to address age-based parental questions about COVID-19 vaccination as some parents may have different concerns depending on their child’s age.
Parent sentiments on COVID-19 related policies and mandates
Among parents surveyed, acceptance of recommended childhood vaccinations was high (i.e., MMR, Polio, etc.). Eighty-nine percent (89%) of all parents said their child received all the recommended vaccinations for their age. Opinions on whether COVID-19 vaccination should be added to the list of vaccines required for school enrollment were not as widely consistent.
Nearly half of all parents (46% – 47% depending on child age group) reported support for a school-based COVID-19 vaccine requirement while 41%-43% felt opposed. Parents who opposed the idea of COVID-19 vaccination requirements for school were also unlikely to have vaccinated their children against COVID-19. Among this parent group, one percent (1%) said their 5-11 year old child was vaccinated and thirteen percent (13%) said their 12-18 year old child was vaccinated. Conversely, parents in support of the policy were more likely to have vaccinated their child(ren); forty-four percent (44%) of parents said their 5-11 year old child was vaccinated and thirty-nine percent (39%) of parents said their 12-18 year old child was vaccinated.
Parental opinions towards ending indoor mask requirements were varied. Over two thirds of parents (66%-68% depending on their child’s age group) approved of ending the policies that required masks for indoor public activities and in-person schooling; 22%-23% were opposed to the lifting of the mandates. Parents with vaccinated children were more likely to report opposition to ending the masking policies–64% of parents who opposed ending the policies had a vaccinated child aged 5-11 years old, and 56% of parents had a vaccinated child aged 12-18 years old.