Parents Aren’t Jumping to Get Their Babies, Toddlers Vaccinated

Survey indicates many parents still have questions about shots for kids under 5
June 23, 2022 at 12:39 pm UTC

COVID-19 vaccines began rolling out this week for nearly 20 million newly eligible toddlers and babies — but many of their parents are wary of the shots, according to a new Morning Consult survey that suggests public health officials will face an uphill battle to drive up immunization rates for the youngest Americans.

Graphic showing parents are split on COVID-19 shots for babies and toddlers

Survey indicates vaccine uptake for babies, toddlers may be slow

  • Moderna Inc.’s and Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE’s COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children as young as 6 months, but parents’ eagerness for the shots is muted so far. In the first days of the campaign, 42% of U.S. parents with children under 5 said they will definitely or probably get their kids vaccinated, while 13% said they probably won't and 32% said they plan to skip the shots altogether.
  • Asked why they plan to forgo vaccination for their kids, most wary parents cited concerns over the safety of the shots and the vaccine development process — issues that unvaccinated adults overall commonly cite as their own top reasons for skipping the vaccines.
  • Early vaccine hesitancy among parents with young kids is in line with the sluggish immunization campaign among older children. As of June 22, just 29.6% of children ages 5 to 11 were fully vaccinated, compared with 59.8% of those ages 12 to 17, federal health data shows.
  • The Biden administration is leaning on pediatricians to get the word out about the newly available pediatric shots, and launched a public service campaign to promote them. The survey shows these efforts have a ways to go: Parents of young children were no more likely than adults overall to say they've seen, read or heard “a lot” about the newly authorized pediatric shots, at roughly 1 in 5 each.

The June 18-23, 2022, survey was conducted among a representative sample of 471 U.S. parents with children under 5, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

A headshot photograph of Gaby Galvin
Gaby Galvin

Gaby Galvin previously worked at Morning Consult as a reporter covering health.

We want to hear from you. Reach out to this author or your Morning Consult team with any questions or comments.Contact Us