New Study Examines Parent Hesitancy Toward COVID-19 Vaccines for Children
The study outlines the main drivers of parental hesitation, such as the perceived safety and efficacy of the vaccines and lower disease severity in children. Many parents who are hesitant to vaccinate may be open to vaccination in the future and welcome additional discussions and data, the researchers found.
Samantha Schilling, MD, MSHP |Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
A study published last month in Parent Education and Counseling outlines that the main drivers of parental hesitancy regarding COVID-19 vaccination in children is the perceived safety and efficacy of the vaccines and lower disease severity in children. to be. Many parents who are hesitant to vaccinate may be open to vaccination in the future and welcome additional discussions and data, the researchers found.
Samantha Schilling, MD, MSHP, assistant professor; Colin Orr, MD, MPH, assistant professor; and Martha Perry, MD, an associate professor, in the Division of Pediatrics of the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, worked on the study, titled “COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Low-income, Racially and Ethically Diverse American Parents.”
Data for the study was collected from February 2021 through May 2021 from parents living in six geographically different locations. The COVID-19 Exposure and Family Impact Survey assessed perceived susceptibility and severity to adverse effects of the pandemic. Semi-structured interviews assessed perceptions about the benefits and risks of vaccinating children.
The results were based on 50 parents of 106 children, newborns to 17 years; half were Spanish-speaking and half English-speaking. Of the participants, 62% were hesitant to vaccinate their children against COVID-19. Efficacy and safety were the main issues that emerged as some parents saw them as benefits, while others saw them as risks to vaccination. Parental hesitation often relied on social media and was influenced by narrative stories of vaccination experiences. Many parents mentioned the lower risk of negative outcomes from COVID-19 in children compared to adults. Some also cited inaccurate and constantly changing information about COVID-19 vaccines.