Parental Decision and Intent Towards COVID-19 Vaccination in Children With Asthma. An Econometric Analysis

Objective. Vaccination will be instrumental in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, and vaccination of children will be necessary to achieve herd immunity. Given that children with chronic health conditions may be at increased risk of COVID-19, it is crucial to understand factors influencing parental decisions about whether to have their child vaccinated. The study objectives were to measure parental intent to have their child with asthma vaccinated against COVID-19 and identify the determinants of their vaccination decision.

Study design. This study is based on a cross-sectional exploratory observational online survey assessing parents' risk perception in the context of COVID-19.

Methods. In this study conducted in August 2020, the primary outcome was parent’s answer to the question on their intention to get their child vaccinated if a vaccine against COVID-19 was available. Participants were also asked about their intention to get vaccinated themselves. Independent variables studied included sociodemographic, clinical data (e.g. presence of other chronic diseases), psychological, cognitive and risk perception related to COVID-19. Simultaneous equations models (3SLS) and seemingly unrelated regressions model (SUR) were carried out to identify factors associated with intention to have the child vaccinated and participants’ intention to get vaccinated themselves against COVID-19.

Results. A total of 305 participants completed the survey. Overall, 19.1% of participants reported being unlikely or very unlikely to vaccinate their child against COVID-19 if a vaccine was available. Similarly, 21.0% were unlikely or very unlikely to get vaccinated themselves. The following factors were significantly (p ≤ 0.05) associated with parents’ decision to have their child vaccinated: parental level of education, employment status, sex of the child, presence of other chronic diseases, whether or not the child had been vaccinated against influenza in the past, parental anxiety, and consultation with a health professional since the beginning of the pandemic. There was a strong relationship between likelihood of not intending to have one’s child vaccinated and personal intent not to get vaccinated.

Conclusion. These findings are essential in planning for the communication and dissemination of COVID-19 vaccination information to parents, especially for children with asthma or other chronic medical conditions.

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