COVID-19 vaccination attitudes, values, intentions: US parents for their children, September 2021

Vaccine. 2023 Nov 30;41(49):7395-7408. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2023.11.002. Epub 2023 Nov 10.


Objectives: To compare vaccine-related attitudes and values of parents of children 2-17 years old to other adults, examine intentions to vaccinate their children, and identify factors associated with intending to vaccinate children.

Methods: A nationally representative survey was conducted in September 2021 (just before the EUA for children 5-11 years old) using Ipsos KnowledgePanel, a probability-based web panel. The survey measured COVID-19 vaccination status, intentions, attitudes, values, and trust in public health authorities among US adults. Scale response options to survey items were dichotomized, and cross-tabulations and logistic regressions were performed.

Results: Parents had lower odds of reporting being vaccinated against COVID-19 than other adults even after adjusting for associated sociodemographic characteristics such as age (aOR: 0.66; 95 %CI: 0.50-0.87). The most prevalent parental concerns about COVID-19 vaccines included the speed of their development (88 %), potential side effects (78 %), suspicion of government (77 %), and suspicion of pharmaceutical companies (72 %). Fewer than half (42 %) of parents intended to vaccinate their children 5-11 years old, while 38 % were uncertain and 20 % were unlikely to ever vaccinate their children. Vaccinated parents had higher odds than unvaccinated parents of intending to vaccinate their children (OR: 675.51; 95 %CI: 106.46-4286.12). Discussions with healthcare providers who encouraged COVID-19 vaccination were positively associated with intent to vaccinate children (OR: 11.29; 95 %CI: 2.60-49.02).

Conclusions: We found parental vaccination and conversations with providers were positively associated with intent to vaccinate children. Decisions about childhood vaccination need to be supported by healthcare providers and a public health system that makes vaccine access and related information equitable and accessible. Vaccination-related decision making should be guided by healthcare providers and provide information about safety and risk to children.

Keywords: COVID-19; COVID-19 vaccine; Immunization; Parents.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • COVID-19 Vaccines* / adverse effects
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Parents / psychology
  • United States
  • Vaccination / adverse effects
  • Vaccination / psychology


  • COVID-19 Vaccines