Good news came for parents of 12- to 15-year-old adolescents ready to have their children vaccinated against COVID-19 when the FDA and CDC approved Pfizer’s vaccine for this age group in early May. CivicScience data show that parental opt-in to vaccinate minors is somewhat stagnant. Though nearly 40% of parents surveyed say they would get their child vaccinated right away, a growing number of parents say they would not at all. 

Additional CivicScience data show that 45% of parents surveyed are at least somewhat hesitant about vaccinating their child against COVID-19.

There is even some hesitancy among parents who reported they would get their child inoculated as soon as the vaccine was approved for minors. 

Women, and those who are unlikely to get the vaccine themselves, are the most hesitant about the shot for children. However, more than 20% of people who are already vaccinated still feel at least somewhat reluctant to get their child vaccinated. 

Interestingly, parents of children of all ages are similarly hesitant about getting the vaccine for their children, with parents of 6- to 11-year-olds skewing more hesitant than other age groups.

Preference for vaccine location is telling: more than half of parents surveyed would feel more comfortable getting their children vaccinated at their pediatrician’s or doctor’s office than anywhere else, which differs from how adults feel about where they get their own vaccine. 

To Mask or Not to Mask?

That’s the question that vaccinated adults are faced with as of last week when the CDC announced that fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear a mask or social distance in most indoor and outdoor settings. 

CivicScience polling on the matter shows that it’s not that simple for a lot of people. Just about one-quarter of vaccinated adults (or adults who plan to be vaccinated) say they are not at all likely to remove their mask in most settings, even though the CDC says it’s safe to do so. This echoes resistance to the CDC’s change first voiced by many epidemiologists after the agency’s announcement.

Women over-index as being reluctant to take off their masks even once they are vaccinated.

While Americans under age 64 are all just as likely to say they’re very likely to remove their masks once fully vaccinated, it’s interesting to see that the youngest adults (under age 25)  fall into two opposite ends of the matter and are actually the most likely not to remove their masks.

Both hesitance to vaccinate and hesitance to unmask even once vaccinated (which the CDC says it’s okay to do) shows that, as always, consumers will decide the course of how this pandemic continues to play out. It’s about personal comfort before anything else.