Around half of adolescents and their parents unsure about getting COVID-19 vaccine
Approximately half of adolescents and their parents either did not intend for the adolescent to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or were uncertain about it, according to survey results from April that were published in MMWR.
Aaron M. Scherer, PhD, assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Iowa, and colleagues assessed responses to a survey administered to 1,927 adolescents and 1,457 parents from April 15 to 23, before the FDA lowered the authorization for COVID-19 vaccination in children to age 12 years in May.
Among those contacted, 1,022 parents (90.5% completion rate) and 985 adolescents (87.1%) were included in the final study sample.
More than one-quarter of parents (27.6%) whose children were eligible to receive a vaccine at the time of the survey — those aged 16 years or older — reported that their adolescent had received at least one dose as of the time of the survey, similar to the 26.1% of adolescents who reported receiving one dose.
Among parents whose adolescents had not yet received a vaccine, 55.5% reported their adolescent would either “definitely” or “probably” receive one, similar to the 51.7% of adolescents who answered the same way.
Parent-reported intent for their child to receive a vaccine was “significantly lower” among female than male parents — 49.3% vs. 63%. Additionally, it was lower among those with an education lower than a bachelor’s degree or living in the Midwest or South.
According to Scherer and colleagues, 511 of 766 (66.7%) parents of unvaccinated adolescents did not indicate that their child would “definitely” receive a vaccine. The most common reasons were the need for more information about safety (16.3%) and efficacy (13.4%) and having the vaccine be a school requirement (13.2%).
Among the 705 of 832 unvaccinated adolescents (84.7%) who did not indicate they would “definitely” receive a vaccine, common reasons were the same — safety information (21.7%), efficacy (17.6%) and school requirements (23.9%).
Scherer and colleagues reported other potential factors that may increase vaccination, including preventing the spread of COVID-19 to family and friends (17.1%), allowing the resumption of social activities (15.5%) and traveling (14.5%).
Health care recommendations did not appear to be a factor, the researchers reported, with just 9.9% of parents and 8.9% of adolescents saying it would increase their intention.