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Latest KFF Poll: Parents Need More Information on COVID Vaccines for Young Children

Report provides insights on booster uptake, children’s vaccines, and America’s trusted voices during the pandemic

May 04, 2022

About 18 percent of parents say they will get their children under 5 vaccinated “right away,” if the nation’s public health agencies authorize COVID-19 vaccines for this age group. Another 38 percent said they would “wait and see,” according to the latest COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

The release of the KFF survey today follows Moderna’s application to the FDA to amend its emergency use authorization to include children between 6 months and 6 years old. The nation’s public health advisors are expected to meet during June to discuss the vaccine for children in this age group.

“Lack of available information may be a factor in parents’ reluctance to get their youngest children vaccinated right away,” the report notes. “A majority of parents of children under 5 say they don’t have enough information about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines for children in this age group (56%).”

Here are five takeaways from the latest KFF survey:

  • Children’s vaccines:  Parental attitudes about the COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5 varied, with 18 percent of parents eager to get their child vaccinated right away; 38 percent planning to wait and see; 27 percent percent reporting they will “definitely not” get their child vaccinated; and 11 percent saying they will only do so if required.
  • Another wave?:  With the spread of the Omicron subvariant, 35 percent of adults think there is a new wave of COVID-19 infections in the U.S. About half of adults said there wasn’t a new wave, and 14 percent were unsure.
  • Booster delay:  About half of all adults have reported getting the booster. Among those who were eligible but had not received the booster dose, 56 percent said they already had enough protection from infection or initial doses and 45 percent said they just did not want to get it. About a third said they were too busy to get the additional shot.
  • Workplace perspectives:  Over half of workers with jobs outside the home said they feel “very safe” (55%) and a third feel “somewhat safe.” The report notes: “White workers are twice as likely as Black workers to say they feel “very safe” from COVID-19 when working outside the home.”
  • Trusted messengers:  When it comes to information about COVID-19 vaccines, doctors (85%) and pediatricians (83%) ranked atop the list of sources Americans trust a great deal or a fair amount.

HAP encourages everyone to stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines and to monitor the level of COVID-19 in their communities. Additional information about vaccine appointments is available online.

The KFF monitor uses surveys and qualitative research to track the public’s attitudes and perspectives throughout the pandemic. The latest KFF report is available online.