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Pediatricians Serve Trusted Role for Parents on COVID-19 Vaccine

New report highlights parental attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccine as children head back to school

August 11, 2021

Infographic about who parents trust for information about COVID-19 vaccines

A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) highlights the role of pediatricians to provide parents with trusted information about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Released today, the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor uses a combination of surveys and quantitative research to assess public opinion and experiences with the vaccine over time. The most recent report highlighting parental attitudes comes at a critical time as children head back to school this month.

The report indicates that pediatricians are a top source for trusted information when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine and children. About 78 percent of parents say they trust their child’s pediatrician “a great deal” or “a fair amount” to provide reliable information about COVID-19 vaccines for kids.

But while pediatricians are viewed as a trusted resource for information, only about 30 percent of parents of children under age 18 say they have talked to their children's pediatrician about the vaccine, the report notes.

“Among parents of teens who discussed the vaccine with their pediatrician, most say the doctor recommended their child get vaccinated, and three-quarters of those whose pediatrician recommended vaccination say their child has received at least one shot,” the report says.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved for people 12 and older. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines have been approved for people 18 and older.

The key findings from the report include:

  • Trusted resources:  Pediatricians were the top trusted resource for information followed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (66%) and local health departments (62%)
  • School mandates:  About 63 percent of parents of school-age children say their child’s school should require unvaccinated students and staff to wear masks. Just below half (45%) say that a COVID-19 vaccine should be required once it receives full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Vaccine intentions:  About 41 percent of parents of vaccine-eligible children say their child has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and another 6 percent plan to get vaccinated right away. About 23 percent of parents said they would wait and see
  • Top concerns:  Parents of unvaccinated teens report their top concerns to be the potential long-term effects (88%); vaccine side effects (79%); fertility concerns (73%); and potential vaccine mandates for their children (65%)

HAP strongly encourages everyone with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine to contact their health care provider for more information. Pennsylvania’s hospitals and staff are committed to providing families with evidence-based information about the available COVID-19 vaccines. The approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and available in your community.

Additional resources for children and families are available online.