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Greater Cincinnati adults' opinions about COVID-19 vaccination and children

Dec 16, 2021

In recent months, eligibility to receive COVID-19 vaccines has greatly expanded, first to young people ages 12 to 17 in May 2021 and most recently for those ages 5 to 11 in November 2021. But just how many children have received the vaccine in our region?

Nearly half of parents say their 12-17-year-olds have received vaccine

Data from the latest round of the Greater Cincinnati COVID-19 Health Issues Survey, conducted between Oct. 29 and Nov. 12, 2021, with 520 adults, show that nearly half of Greater Cincinnati parents with children ages 12 to 17 (46%) report that those children have received a COVID-19 vaccine. That percentage is the same found by Kaiser Family Foundation among parents of children ages 12 to 17 nationwide. About 200,000 young people between the ages of 12 and 17 live in the 22-county survey region.  
Graphic showing percentage of 12-17 year olds who have received COVID vaccineIn addition to the 46% of 12 to 17-year-olds who already are vaccinated, 7% of Greater Cincinnati parents say their child definitely WILL get vaccinated while 22% say they definitely WILL NOT get vaccinated. One-quarter of parents (25%) say they haven’t yet made up their mind about vaccination. Click on the graphic to see a larger version. (See note below.) 

More education by physicians could help parents undecided about vaccination

Just over half of parents (54%) feel they have enough information about the COVID-19 vaccine in children.  
In July 2021, the Greater Cincinnati COVID-19 Health Issues Survey asked adults in the region how much they trusted several sources of information about the COVID-19 pandemic, including physicians, pharmacists, local health departments, family members, friends or coworkers, people with similar political beliefs or people with similar religious beliefs.  
Personal physicians or health providers were the most trusted group, with more than 9 in 10 adults (92%) reporting that they trust their own physician or health care provider a great deal or a fair amount to provide accurate information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this high level of trust, an opportunity exists among pediatricians and other health providers to further educate parents about the benefits of vaccination in children. 
In the latest round of the survey, a majority of parents (60%) report they have talked to their child’s pediatrician about the COVID-19 vaccine. Of those, nearly 8 in 10 parents (78%) say their child’s pediatrician recommended the vaccine for their child.   

Half of adults favor vaccination policies in schools

All adults surveyed were asked how they feel about schools requiring vaccination and/or masking in order for children to attend school in person.

The survey found that Greater Cincinnati adults are evenly  split on whether schools should require that children who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine get vaccinated before being allowed to return to school in person. Half of adults (50%) report that they think it is a good idea, while half (50%) think it is a bad idea. Responses varied by respondents’ vaccination status. More than 6 in 10 adults who have received a COVID-19 vaccine (65%) think this is a good idea. That compares with fewer than 2 in 10 adults who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine (17%).

Two-thirds of adults (66%) think it is a good idea for schools to require children who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear masks if they go to school in person. About 3 in 10 adults (34%) think this is a bad idea. Adults who have received a COVID-19 vaccine (76%) are more likely than those who have not (45%) to think this is a good idea.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children are as likely to be infected with COVID-19 as adults and can

  • Get very sick from COVID-19.
  • Have both short and long-term health complications from COVID-19.
  • Spread COVID-19 to others, including at home and school.

For more information on how to get your eligible child vaccinated, please contact your child’s health care provider or visit the Health Collaborative's webpage of public pediatric providers.

Note: Additional caution should be taken when interpreting the results among unvaccinated children because the number of respondents was fewer than 75 parents.

About the survey: The Greater Cincinnati COVID-19 Health Issues Survey is part of a research effort by Interact for Health and the University of Cincinnati Institute for Policy Research to understand adult behaviors, attitudes and opinions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Online surveys were administered between Oct. 29 and Nov. 12, 2021, to 520 adults in a 22-county region. Learn more about the methodology.  

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