Parents' Intentions and Perceptions About COVID-19 Vaccination for Their Children: Results From a National Survey

Pediatrics. 2021 Oct;148(4):e2021052335. doi: 10.1542/peds.2021-052335. Epub 2021 Aug 3.


Objectives: Assess the degree to which US parents are likely to have their children get coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines and identify parental concerns about the vaccines.

Methods: In February 2021 to March 2021, we surveyed parent members of a nationally representative probability-based Internet panel of ∼9000 adults regarding their intent to have their children receive a COVID-19 vaccination, perceptions of COVID-19 vaccines for children, and trust in sources of information about COVID-19 vaccines for children. We used descriptive and multivariate analyses to evaluate parent-stated likelihood of having their children get a COVID-19 vaccine and to assess the association between likelihood of child COVID-19 vaccination and child age, parent demographics, and parental perceptions about COVID-19 vaccines.

Results: Altogether, 1745 parents responded (87% of eligible parents, 3759 children). Likelihood of child COVID-19 vaccination was as follows: very likely (28%), somewhat likely (18%), somewhat unlikely (9%), very unlikely (33%), and unsure (12%). The stated likelihood of child vaccination was greater among parents of older children (P < .001) as well as among parents who had a bachelor's degree or higher education (P < .001), had already received or were likely to receive a COVID-19 vaccine (P < .001), or had Democratic affiliation (P < .001); variations existed by race and ethnicity (P = .04). Parental concerns centered around vaccine safety and side effects. A key trusted source of information about COVID-19 vaccines for children was the child's doctor.

Conclusions: Less than one-half of US participants report that they are likely to have their child receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Pediatric health care providers have a major role in promoting and giving COVID-19 vaccination for children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • COVID-19 Vaccines* / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Trust
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vaccination Refusal / psychology


  • COVID-19 Vaccines