Apr 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Axios-Ipsos poll: Parents split on vaccinating kids

Data: Axios/Ipsos Poll; Note: 3.3% margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

Just half of U.S. parents plan to get their children vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as they can, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: High vaccination rates are seen as a key to achieving herd immunity, but many parents don't want their kids to be the first in line once pediatric vaccinations become available.

  • Republicans surveyed were most resistant to vaccinating their children.

The big picture: As millions of adults get vaccinated and receive new stimulus payments, confidence is rising and pandemic risk perceptions are declining.

  • For the first time in a year, the survey showed a net improvement in how people perceive their ability to do their jobs effectively — and a respite from declining ability to afford household goods.
  • 37% of those surveyed said they felt returning to their normal place of work would be a large or moderate risk — the lowest since we began asking the question last May.
  • Just 28% said they're now working at home or remotely — the lowest share in a year. Education was a major predictor: 43% with a bachelor's degree or higher are still working from home, compared to 18% with less than a bachelor’s degree.
  • 55% said it would be very or moderately risky to return to their pre-coronavirus lives — the lowest in a year — and 37% said airplane or mass transit travel is a large risk, down from 73% last April.
  • Perceived risks of seeing friends and family outside the home, going to the hairdresser, attending sporting events, retail shopping and taking a vacation also declined. Respondents' ability to pay the rent or mortgage continued to improve.
  • 63% said they've received stimulus money from the government in the last few weeks.

Between the lines: Seven in 10 respondents said they've already gotten (47%) or are somewhat or very likely to get (24%) the vaccine.

  • But that eagerness dropped sharply when parents were asked about their children under 18: 48% say they're not likely to get them vaccinated as soon as shots become available for their age group.
  • Vaccines currently are authorized for adults and children 16 and older, while research and data related to younger children is being collected.

What they're saying: "We’re having a confluence of optimism," said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs. "Larger numbers of Americans are being vaccinated. Massive economic stimulus packages have been passed."

  • Pollster Chris Jackson, senior vice president for Ipsos Public Affairs, said if enough parents remain reluctant over time about their children getting shots, that could spell "the end of the easy part of the vaccination story" — especially when coupled with the three in 10 adults who say they're unlikely to take it.
  • But it's too soon to know how those instincts will change as more scientific research and data becomes available about the safety and usefulness of the vaccine with children. Adults' interest in taking the vaccine has grown as more data emerged showing it safe and effective.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted April 2-5 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 979 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error is ±3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults, and ±8.0 percentage points on the sample of parents with children under 18.
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