By 53% to 18%, parents with underage children say they would get them vaccinated against COVID-19

Eir NolsoeData Journalist
July 05, 2021, 9:37 AM UTC

About one in five parents with children under 18 say they would not get them vaccinated, despite a lower figure being vaccine hesitant

Ministers will announce in July whether the UK will start to give coronavirus vaccines to kids. Several countries are already vaccinating children and the UK medicines regulator has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 12 and older.

But how do parents feel about the prospect of getting their children vaccinated against COVID-19 when the risk of becoming seriously ill for children is minimal?

Half of parents with children aged 17 or younger (53%) say they would get them vaccinated if the coronavirus vaccine becomes available for kids, while one in five (18%) would not and three in ten (29%) are unsure.

Parents who’ve had the vaccine themselves, or are planning to, are slightly more inclined to get their underage children jabbed, at 59%. But even among this group, three in ten (29%) are still uncertain, while 12% say they would not do it.

Among those who are vaccine hesitant, meaning they’re undecided or refusing to get vaccinated, only 2% would get their children vaccinated. One in four (24%) are unsure, while three quarters (74%) would not.

Parents, who tend to work in professional occupations, (what is known as socio-economic group ABC1), are more willing to get their children vaccinated against coronavirus than those from C2DE backgrounds, who often do manual work, at 58% vs 45%. This is consistent with vaccine willingness being higher among ABC1 (93%) than C2DE (84%) parents.

Fathers are also more willing to have their children vaccinated than mothers at 60% vs 46%. But the difference among unwilling mothers (17%) and fathers (20%) is marginal, with mothers more likely to be unsure than fathers (34% vs 23%).

Vaccinating children to protect them or older family members?

Professor Anthony Harnden, advisor to the government on vaccines, has said that vaccinating children presents an: “ethical dilemma as to whether you should vaccinate children to protect adults”.

Vaccinating children against COVID-19 mainly benefits the adult population by reducing transmission, according to Harnden. But only 8% of parents who would get their kids vaccinated say it would be mainly for the safety of other people in their household or close family. Around two in five (37%) say they would do it more for their children’s safety, while around half (53%) say both equally. 

See the full results here