COVID-19 Vaccination Intentions, Concerns, and Facilitators Among U.S. Parents of Children Ages 6 Months Through 4 Years
Children aged 6 months through 4 years have become eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, but little is known about parental intentions regarding, concerns about, or facilitators to COVID-19 vaccination for this age group.
To evaluate parental intentions, concerns, and facilitators for COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 6 months through 4 years and to help inform the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' deliberations and recommendations for COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 6 months through 4 years.
Design, setting, and participants
This cross-sectional study fielded an online survey from February 2 to 10, 2022, among a nonprobability sample of US parents of children aged 6 months through 4 years who were recruited through Qualtrics using quota-based sampling for respondent gender, race and ethnicity, and child age group.
Main outcomes and measures
COVID-19 vaccination intentions, time to COVID-19 vaccination, COVID-19 vaccination concerns and facilitators, and trusted COVID-19 vaccination locations for children aged 6 months through 4 years.
The final weighted sample of 2031 participants (73.5% participation rate) had more respondents who identified as male (985; weighted percentage, 54.8%) or White (696; weighted percentage, 66.2%), were aged 25 to 49 years (1628; weighted percentage, 85.6%), had at least a bachelor's degree (711; weighted percentage, 40.0%), lived in a metropolitan area (1743; weighted percentage, 82.9%) or the South (961; weighted percentage, 43.4%), or received at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (1205; weighted percentage, 59.8%). Half of respondents (645; weighted percentage, 45.6%) indicated that they "definitely" or "probably" will vaccinate their child aged 6 months through 4 years once they became eligible. However, only one-fifth (396; weighted percentage, 19.0%) indicated they would get a COVID-19 vaccine for their child in this age group within 3 months of them becoming eligible for vaccination. Vaccine safety and efficacy were parents' top concerns, and receiving more information about safety and efficacy were the top facilitators to COVID-19 vaccination for this age group. A doctor's office or clinic and local pharmacy were the most trusted COVID-19 vaccination locations for this age group.
Conclusions and relevance
These results suggest that only a minority of parents of children in this age group are eager to vaccinate their children within the first few months of eligibility, with widespread concerns about COVID-19 vaccination for this age group. Thus, considerable efforts to increase parental COVID-19 vaccine confidence for children aged 6 months through 4 years may be needed to maximize COVID-19 vaccination for this age group in the United States.