All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Gerald McGwin

Advisory Committee Members

Katia Bruxvoort

Henna Budhwani

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2022

Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) School of Public Health

Abstract

Although COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy decreased noticeably over time during the first months of 2021, there was still a high degree of vaccine hesitancy in the United States at the time that the vaccine first became available to adolescents. Data from Phase 3.2 of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey (July 21 – October 11th, 2021) was used to conduct an ecological study on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy that investigated associations between vaccine hesitancy and socio-demographic characteristics as well as child school type (public school, private school, homeschool). Subjects that had not received a vaccine at the time of survey data collection were included in this study. Reasons for which they had not yet been vaccinated and the degree to which subjects were willing or not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine were examined. Reasons reported by adults for not receiving a vaccine themselves and reasons reported by adults with adolescent children for not getting their children vaccinated are also compared. Within-subject comparisons were made for subjects with adolescent children, and between-subject comparisons were made for vaccine hesitancy among adults that have adolescent children and vaccine hesitancy among adults that do not have adolescent children. Results from this study indicate a high degree of consistency between reasons for not receiving a vaccine, and for not having one’s adolescent child vaccinated X2, (36, N = 6,544) = 9,186.58, p < 0.001. The results of this study also indicate that there is a iii slightly higher degree of vaccine hesitancy among parents of children that are in private school (AOR, 1.60 [95% CI, 1.12 - 2.29]) or homeschooled (AOR, 1.60 [95% CI, 1.07 - 2.39]) compared to parents of children in public school. Public health strategies need to address vaccine hesitancy by communicating transparently about vaccine safety and efficacy, highlighting the risks of COVID-19 infection, addressing vaccine misinformation, and educating parents on the role of vaccination.

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