COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage and Hesitancy Among New York City Parents of Children Aged 5–11 Years

Chloe A. Teasdale, PhD; Scott Ratzan, MD, MPA, MA; Lauren Rauh, MPH; Hannah Stuart Lathan, MPH; Spencer Kimball, JD; Ayman El-Mohandes, MD, MPH, MBBCH


Am J Public Health. 2022;112(6):931-936. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Objectives: To measure vaccine uptake and intentions among New York City (NYC) parents of children aged 5 to 11 years following emergency use authorization.

Methods: We conducted a survey of 2506 NYC parents of children aged 5 to 11 years. We used survey weights to generate prevalence estimates of vaccine uptake and intentions. Multivariable Poisson regression models generated adjusted prevalence ratios (APRs) of vaccine hesitancy, defined as parents who reported being not very likely or not at all likely to vaccinate their children, or unsure about whether to do so.

Results: Overall, 11.9% of NYC parents reported that their child was vaccinated; 51.0% were very or somewhat likely to vaccinate; 8.0% were not sure; 29.1% were not very likely or not at all likely to vaccinate their child. Among vaccine-hesitant parents, 89.9% reported safety concerns and 77.8% had concerns about effectiveness. In multivariable models, more vaccine hesitancy was expressed by non-Hispanic Black parents than by non-Hispanic White parents (APR = 1.41; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.17, 1.72) and by parents who were not themselves vaccinated than by parents who were vaccinated (APR = 1.53; 95% CI = 1.32, 1.77).

Conclusions: In a survey conducted after authorization of COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 years, significant hesitancy among parents was observed. (Am J Public Health. 2022;112(6):931–936.


In October 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended use of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years,[1] prompting concerns about parental acceptability and uptake. National polls conducted before authorization found that only one third of US parents planned to vaccinate their 5- to 11-year-old child right away, and the same proportion planned not to.[2]

Vaccination is critical for protecting children from SARS-Cov-2 infection, which can cause severe disease, prolonged symptoms, and death.[3,4] High pediatric vaccination coverage will also help contain the COVID-19 pandemic.[5] New York City (NYC), the first epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, has the nation's largest public school system. High vaccination coverage among school-age children will keep students and staff safe, lead to fewer educational disruptions, and lower the risk of community spread. We measured parent-reported COVID-19 vaccination intentions for children aged 5 to 11 years following emergency use authorization.