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KFF Poll Shows High Vaccine Hesitancy among Parents of Young Kids

Poll highlights role of pediatricians to address hesitancy

August 04, 2022

About 43 percent of parents of children under 5 say they will “definitely not” get them vaccinated, according to the latest COVID-19 vaccine poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

The new report underscores the importance of providing clear information and resources to parents about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines for young children.

“With the FDA granting emergency use authorization for the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months through 4 years old, many parents of these young children remain reluctant to vaccinate their child,” the survey noted.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Overall impressions:  Just 7 percent of parents of children under 5 say they’ve already gotten the vaccine and 10 percent plan to get them vaccinated as soon as possible. About 27 percent plan to “wait and see,” while 13 percent will wait to see if it’s required by school or child care.
  • Areas of concern:  Questions about research, side effects, and safety topped the list of reasons parents said they would not vaccinate their children against COVID-19.
  • Children between 5 and 11:  About 40 percent of parents of children in this age group report that their children have been vaccinated. Nearly half say they will only get them vaccinated if required or definitely won’t.
  • Confusing considerations:  About 55 percent of parents of children under 5 reported that the information from federal health agencies about the COVID-19 vaccines for young children is confusing.
  • Value of pediatricians:  About 70 percent of parents considering getting their children vaccinated plan to wait until their child’s regular check-up to discuss it.

“Though a large share of parents of young children are reluctant to get their child vaccinated, pediatricians have an opportunity to provide information and guidance to parents who have concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine—especially at a child’s regular check-up appointments,” the report said.

HAP encourages parents to talk with their health care providers about any questions or concerns they may have about the COVID-19 vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and offer strong protection against severe cases of the virus. A frequently-asked-questions guide for parents about the vaccines also is available.

More information about the available vaccines and appointments in your community can be found online.

The KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor tracks the public’s attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations. It includes a representative sample of nearly 1,850 U.S. adults from July 7 through July 17.

The latest monitor is available to review online.