May 6, 2021
A majority of parents in Virginia are likely to get their children vaccinated. Sixty-six percent of parents with children age 12-17 are likely to vaccinate their children while 63% of parents with children age 11 and under are likely to vaccinate their children, according to the new statewide vaccine poll conducted for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University.
The region of the state in which parents reside impacts vaccine hesitancy regarding their children. Parents residing in the Northwest and Western regions of the state had the highest levels of hesitancy regarding vaccinating their children. Parents with children 12-17 in the Northwest (59%) and Western (84%) of the state were not likely to vaccinate their children. More than half of the parents of children 11 and under in the Northwest (58%) and the Western (53%) parts of the state were not likely to vaccinate their children and those.
Parent vaccination hesitancy had a significant impact on their views about vaccinating their children. Over 90% of the parents who stated they are unlikely to get themselves vaccinated were unlikely to vaccinate their children.
Parent race and ethnicity had no significant impact on parents’ willingness to vaccinate their children in either age group.
Parents’ willingness to send their children back to in-person school in the fall
Almost three quarters (73%) of parents with children age 18 or under are willing to send their children back to in-person instruction in the fall.
Minorities are 2-3 times less willing to send their children back to in-person school in the fall than whites with African Americans (32%), Asians (34%), Hispanics (26%) in comparison to whites (12%) saying they do not want to send their children back to in-person school.
Seventy-three percent of Democrats and 80% of Republicans are willing to send their children back to school in-person in the fall.
Measures that were most likely to increase parents’ willingness to send their children back to in person school in the fall include:
- Limiting class sizes (60%)
- Requiring 14-day quarantine for faculty/staff with COVID-19 (59%)
- Conducting regular COVID-19 tests on teachers (56%)
Sixty-one percent of parents making $50,000 or less annually are likely to send their children back to school in-person in the fall compared to 77% of the parents making $100,000 or more annually.
“The willingness of a substantial majority of parents to have their children vaccinated seemingly attests to the belief of the availability and efficacy of the vaccines, however the almost triple numbers of hesitancy in African Americans (32%) and Asians (34%) than whites (12%) to send their children back to in-person school reflects the historical skepticism,” said former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder.
For the full poll results and analysis, visit https://oppo.vcu.edu/policy-poll/.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management COVID-19 Hesitancy Poll was conducted by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs in April 2021. The data was obtained by telephone interviews with a representative sample of 907 adults, ages 18 or older, living in Virginia. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (448) and cell phone (459, including 279 without a landline telephone). A minimum number of 100 surveys each were conducted with specific demographic groups including Hispanic respondents, black respondents, and each of three age brackets (64 and older, 36 to 64, and 18 to 35).
The survey was conducted by Responsive Management. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish from April 6 to April 23, 2021. Statistical results were weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies in the sample. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ± 4.45 percentage points.
The findings are representative of Virginia's adult general population who have access to a listed telephone. Statistics tell us that, for a population the size of Virginia, we need a population of about 800 to get a representative sample. To assure under-represented racial and ethnic groups results are generalizable at least 100 participants of each racial and ethnic category must be included in each of the 5 regions of Virginia.
Subscribe to VCU News
Subscribe to VCU News at newsletter.vcu.edu and receive a selection of stories, videos, photos, news clips and event listings in your inbox.