Acceptability of Adolescent COVID-19 Vaccination Among Adolescents and Parents of Adolescents - United States, April 15-23, 2021

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Jul 16;70(28):997-1003. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7028e1.


On May 10, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded its Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents aged 12-15 years; this authorization was followed by interim recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the vaccine among this age group (1). Using data from nonprobability-based Internet panel surveys administered by the Healthcare and Public Perceptions of Immunizations (HaPPI) Survey Collaborative, the acceptability of adolescent COVID-19 vaccination and self-reported factors increasing vaccination intent were assessed among independently recruited samples of 985 adolescents aged 13-17 years and 1,022 parents and guardians (parents) of adolescents aged 12-17 years during April 15-April 23, 2021, prior to vaccine authorization for this age group. Approximately one quarter (27.6%) of parents whose adolescents were already vaccine-eligible (i.e., aged 16-17 years) reported their adolescent had received ≥1 COVID-19 vaccine dose, similar to the proportion reported by vaccine-eligible adolescents aged 16-17 years (26.1%). However, vaccine receipt reported by parents of adolescents differed across demographic groups; parents identifying as female or Hispanic, or who had an education lower than a bachelor's degree reported the lowest adolescent COVID-19 vaccination receipt. Among parents of unvaccinated adolescents aged 12-17 years, 55.5% reported they would "definitely" or "probably" have their adolescent receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Among unvaccinated adolescents aged 13-17 years, 51.7% reported they would "definitely" or "probably" receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Obtaining more information about adolescent COVID-19 vaccine safety and efficacy, as well as school COVID-19 vaccination requirements, were the most commonly reported factors that would increase vaccination intentions among both parents and adolescents. Federal, state, and local health officials and primary care professionals were the most trusted sources of COVID-19 vaccine information among both groups. Efforts focusing on clearly communicating to the public the benefits and safety of COVID-19 vaccination for adolescents, particularly by health care professionals, could help increase confidence in adolescent COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination coverage.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Consumer Health Information
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vaccination / psychology*


  • COVID-19 Vaccines