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


We conducted this cross-sectional survey using a stratified random sample of NYC parents. NYC residents aged 18 years or older, self-identifying as a parent or legal caregiver of a child aged 5 to 11 years, were eligible. We collected data from November 10 to 18, 2021, through surveys in English, Spanish, and Mandarin. Participants were recruited through address-based random sampling. Participants contacted by cellphone completed Web-based surveys; those contacted by landline used interactive voice response.

The study included 2506 eligible adults and had a margin of error of 1.8%.[6] The sample was weighted to reflect the population of parents of children aged 5 to 11 years based on US Census and other survey estimates for child age and race/ethnicity, and for adult education, within each borough of NYC.[7] Appendix A (available as a supplement to the online version of this article at has further information on sampling and weights.

We measured vaccination intention through parent report for the youngest child aged 5 to 11 years. Parents were asked, "Has your child received the COVID-19 vaccine?" (responses: "yes," "no," "not sure"). Those responding "no" or "not sure" were asked, "How likely are you to get your child vaccinated against COVID-19 now that it is available for 5–11 year olds?" (responses: "very likely," "somewhat likely," "not very likely," "not at all likely," and "not sure"; online Appendix B). Parents responding "not very likely," "not at all likely," or "not sure" were considered vaccine hesitant and asked to agree or disagree with reasons for hesitating, including safety, effectiveness, medical, religious or philosophical, believing children do not need the vaccine, and cost or time concerns.

All parents reported demographic information about their child and themselves, including their own COVID-19 vaccination status, whether the child was up-to-date with routine vaccines and influenza vaccination, and concerns about the child becoming infected or infecting others with COVID-19. Descriptive statistics (unweighted counts and percentages using survey weights to generate prevalence estimates) are reported along with characteristics of children vaccinated at the time of the survey. To assess the relationship between characteristics and vaccination intentions, we divided the sample into 4 groups: (1) child already vaccinated, (2) parent very or somewhat likely to vaccinate, (3) parent unsure, and (4) parent not very likely or not at all likely to vaccinate. We compared prevalence estimates for groups by characteristics using the Rao adjusted Pearson χ 2 test. We fitted Poisson regression models (incorporating survey weights) with robust standard errors to estimate prevalence ratios of parental vaccine hesitancy, comparing vaccine-hesitant parents to parents of vaccinated children and parents very or somewhat likely to vaccinate children. We adjusted models for demographic and household characteristics to yield the adjusted prevalence ratio (APR).