More than a quarter of parents of children age 5 to 11 (26%) say they have not yet decided if their child will get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a poll that examined effective messaging about vaccines for younger children. Conducted by Civis Analytics on behalf of Made to Save and the de Beaumont Foundation, the survey found that the message themes most likely to increase the likelihood of a parent saying yes were 1) risk, 2) protecting others, and 3) fun. Among parents of older children (12-17), messages about protecting others were most effective.
While very conservative respondents were among the most likely to say they do not plan to get their child vaccinated, respondents who said they were moderate or somewhat conservative were among the most likely to say they were undecided. There was also a gender gap, as 52% of fathers said they plan to vaccinate their child, compared with only 39% of mothers.
Finally, the poll found that there were differences between racial groups on intent to vaccinate their children. Fifty eight percent (58%) of Asian parents, 49% of White parents, 48% of Black parents, and 27% of Hispanic or Latino/a parents indicated they planned to vaccinate their children. Latino/a parents had the highest rates of uncertainty, with 44% of Latino/a parents saying they had not decided whether or not they would vaccinate their child(ren).
Five messages were tested, and they are listed from most effective to least effective:
- Risk: COVID-19 is one of the top 10 causes of death among children. Vaccines protect children from getting sick, being hospitalized, or developing long-term symptoms.
- Protecting Others: Having your child vaccinated will protect family members and friends, especially those who may be at high risk.
- Fun: Being vaccinated will help kids be kids. It will enable them to safely do more of the activities they enjoy, like attending birthday parties, playing sports, and spending time indoors with friends and family members.
- Safety: The CDC and the FDA recommend vaccines for children only after reviewing extensive data showing that the vaccine is both safe and effective.
- School: Getting vaccinated is the best way to ensure that children can stay in school, be with their classmates and teachers, and learn in a safe and supportive environment.
The poll also examined parents’ intentions of having their 5- to 11-year-old child vaccinated against COVID-19.
46% of parents of children age 5-11 say they plan to get their child vaccinated. Among the parents most likely to say yes:
- Very or somewhat liberal
- White, Asian, or Black
More than half are either undecided or do not plan to get their child the COVID-19 vaccine. Among the 29% who said they do NOT plan to have their child vaccinated:
- Very conservative
- Hispanic or Latino/a
26% said they were undecided. Among the parents most likely to say they were undecided:
- Hispanic or Latino/a
- Moderate or somewhat conservative
- Less than a college education
52% of fathers said they plan to get their child vaccinated, compared with 39% of mothers.
Among undecided parents, 52% believe that the rewards of the COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risk. 48% believe the risks outweigh the benefits. Download a summary with messaging tips.