Majority of Parents Plan to Vaccinate Kids

The COVID vaccine soon will be available to kids under age 12, but a COVID Collaborative survey indicates just how many parents plan on vaccinating their children.

Topics: Pandemic Leadership

Getting students vaccination is a key component in keeping schools open safely and keeping children healthy during the pandemic. COVID-19 vaccinations soon will be available for children under age 12. On Oct. 19, the Biden administration announced updates to its operational planning for COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5-11. Steps include:

  • Securing enough vaccine to support vaccination for the country’s 28 million children ages 5-11 years old;
  • Standing up vaccinations sites in settings—including schools and community-based clinics—that children and their parents know and trust;
  • Supporting education and engagement efforts to build public trust so parents can have all the information they need to make informed choices for their children.

Back in May, 61 percent of parents planned to vaccinate all of their children as soon as vaccines are approved for use, according to a COVID Collaborative survey. However, 27 percent said they would not vaccinate any of their children, and 12 percent were undecided. Vaccines have been approved for use in children age 12 and up since mid-May.

  • Intent varied among parents across racial and ethnic lines, with Asian American and Pacific Islander parents being the most likely to vaccinate their children (77 percent) and Black parents being the least likely (55 percent).
  • Some 65 percent of parents of children ages 6 to 17 planned to vaccinate, but only 56 percent of parents of children under 6 did.
  • Parents least likely to say they will get their children vaccinated were those who live in small towns and rural areas (42 percent).

Nearly 3 in 5 (59 percent) parents supported requiring students to get vaccinated to attend school in person. “Parents want to keep their children safe and in school,” says John Bridgeland, CEO of the COVID Collaborative. “This survey provides insights to increase parent confidence in vaccination, which will enable children to be safe for in-​person learning, on playgrounds, and for other activities that help them grow and thrive.”

The endorsement or recommendation of a child’s pediatrician is the most influential factor in getting the vaccine-reluctant to immunize, 83 percent of parents said. Unfortunately, health care visits among 7- to 17-year-olds during the 2020–2021 school year dropped 71 percent due to COVID-19 restrictions, Learning First Alliance’s Power to Protect project reports, resulting in more children skipping vaccinations of all kinds.

Two-fifths (40 percent) of parents said that their child missed at least one routine immunization during the year, leaving an estimated 1 in 5 children nationwide vulnerable to measles, mumps, chickenpox, meningitis, whooping cough, and other diseases—as well as potentially jeopardizing their eligibility to attend school this year.

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