A majority of Virginia parents are willing to have their children vaccinated

New VCU Wilder School poll shows more than 60% of parents will support

A pediatrician administers a shot to a child.
A majority of parents in Virginia are likely to get their children vaccinated according to the new statewide vaccine poll conducted for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management by VCU's Wilder School.

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/.

Methodology

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.

 

About the VCU L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

Ranked No. 45 among 275 graduate schools of public affairs by U.S. News & World Report and No. 39 in Public Management & Leadership, the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University advances excellence in governance and promotes evidence-based public policy in Virginia and beyond. The school offers an array of graduate, post baccalaureate and doctoral programs in virtually every policy area including criminal justice, homeland security and emergency preparedness, public administration, public policy and administration, and urban and regional studies and planning. Additionally, the Wilder School is home to a robust Center for Public Policy that provides applied research in the areas of state and local government, social equity and leadership and a range of services to clients in state and local government, nonprofit organizations, businesses and the general public. Learn more at wilder.vcu.edu.

About the VCU Wilder School Commonwealth Poll

For nearly three decades, the VCU Wilder School Commonwealth Poll has been an important bellwether for policymakers in Virginia and beyond on a range of topics, including voting intentions, economic and workforce development, education, housing, public health, public safety and racial equity. The Commonwealth Poll is a featured 2020 Presidential Election Poll by CNN, approved based on a rigorous review of methodologies and assumptions that ensure that CNN-cited polling entities are employing the gold standard in public opinion research.