Parent intentions to vaccinate children with autism spectrum disorder against COVID-19

J Pediatr Nurs. 2022 Mar-Apr:63:108-110. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2021.11.019. Epub 2021 Nov 24.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate associations between parent vaccine confidence and intention to have their child with autism vaccinated against COVID-19.

Design and methods: A cross-sectional, web-based survey was conducted from May to July 2021 with parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (N = 322) who were members of an integrated healthcare system in Southern California.

Results: Approximately 35% of parents intended to vaccinate their child against COVID-19. In adjusted models, positive vaccine beliefs-but not belief in vaccine harm, healthcare provider trust, or parent vaccination status-were associated with intention to vaccinate.

Conclusions: Though parents usually trust recommendations from pediatric healthcare providers to make decisions about their child's health, these findings suggest that relying on trusted relationships alone may not be sufficient when discussing COVID-19 vaccines and that additional education to bolster vaccine confidence may be needed.

Practice implications: Pediatric healthcare providers should reinforce the benefits of vaccines for parents who are undecided about COVID-19 vaccines for their children and provide education and evidence-based recommendations to parents who hold erroneous vaccine beliefs about risks, benefits, and current evidence, especially those related to autism.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; COVID-19 vaccine; Children; Vaccine confidence.

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder*
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Parents
  • Vaccination


  • COVID-19 Vaccines