A national telephone survey of 12,535 US parents finds that teens were more likely to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses if they had received at least one human papillomavirus (HPV), meningitis, and/or tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine dose.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers analyzed results from the National Immunization Survey COVID Modules for children and teens, which polls parents of children aged 6 months to 17 years on their child's vaccine uptake and intent to vaccinate. The survey was conducted from Jul 22, 2021, to Feb 26, 2022.
The study was published yesterday in JAMA Pediatrics.
Addressing overall vaccine hesitance
Of parents of adolescents vaccinated against HPV, 63.8% said their teen had already been vaccinated against COVID-19. Another 6.7% said that their child definitely would be vaccinated, while 14.2% said they probably would or weren't sure, and 15.3% said they probably or definitely wouldn't. Similar results were observed with meningitis and Tdap vaccine recipients.
Relative to parents of HPV vaccine recipients, a higher proportion of parents of adolescents who hadn't received the vaccine said they didn't plan to vaccinate their child against COVID-19 (27.7% vs 15.3%) or said they probably would or weren't sure (19.6% vs 14.2%), and a comparable proportion said they definitely would (6.8% vs 6.7%).
A greater share of parents of teens unvaccinated against meningitis (25.9%) or Tdap (27.5%) said their child probably or definitely would not be vaccinated against COVID-19 than parents of meningitis vaccine recipients (18.0% and 18.6%, respectively).
Uptake of routine and COVID-19 vaccines rose with declining levels of hesitance about childhood vaccinations. Teens whose parents reported no reluctance about childhood vaccinations were more likely to be vaccinated against all studied diseases than those of "very hesitant" parents (difference, 41.7 percentage points for COVID-19, 37.9 for HPV, 20.9 for meningitis, and 17.3 for Tdap).
The researchers noted that, as of Apr 14, 2022, COVID-19 vaccine coverage among US children aged 12 to 17 years was 68%, lower than for routine vaccines. "Addressing hesitancy about routine childhood vaccinations may reduce hesitancy about COVID-19 vaccines," they wrote.