Survey: Detroit parents are half as likely to get COVID-19 vaccine

New research from the University of Michigan suggests that Detroiters in households with children are about half as likely to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as people without children in their homes.

Adults in Detroit with children in their household are also significantly less likely to trust information about the coronavirus, vaccine safety, and the health system in general, according to the UM study. Parents’ reluctance to vaccinate has a major impact on their children; The survey found that vaccinated adults vaccinated their children 11 times more often.

The results come from a June poll of nearly 1,900 residents in UM’s Detroit Metro Area Communities Study. Both parents and other adults who live in the same house with the children, including grandparents, stepparents and legal guardians, were surveyed.

Lydia Wileden, a graduate research fellow at DMACS, said the survey results had some reservations. The data is several months old and was collected during the first major vaccination campaign, so attitudes may have changed. DMACS plans to start a follow-up survey in November to see if people became more open to vaccinations after learning about the low risk of side effects.

“If we want to collect data on this, we will care more about the people who are slower to take up vaccines, but not necessarily against vaccines as a whole,” said Wileden. “There is a proportion of Detroiters who see more of this skeptical perspective. They waited, so to speak, to see instead of being against vaccinations. “

Seven out of 10 adults who do not live with children said they were vaccinated, while 38% of adults living with children were vaccinated. Adults with children were twice as likely to say they would not get vaccinated.

Wileden said it was not clear why people living with children are more skeptical about the COVID-19 vaccine. One possible reason: Parents tend to be younger than people who don’t live with children, and vaccinations are generally more common in younger people.

Forty-five percent of vaccinated adults in Detroit said their children were also vaccinated, compared with just 4% of people who were not vaccinated.

Only 12% of vaccinated parents feel uncomfortable having their children vaccinated compared to 63% of unvaccinated parents.

People with children under the age of 12 had more doubts about vaccination than people with older children. The survey found that 59% of adults with children under the age of 12 feel uncomfortable having their child vaccinated compared to 42% of adults with children between the ages of 12 and 17.

The federal government has approved Pfizer BioNTech emergency vaccines in children between 12 and 17 years of age. It’s the same vaccine that is available to adults, and clinical studies have shown it to have a low risk of side effects.

COVID-19 vaccines are not available to anyone under the age of 12, but this is likely to change within a few weeks. The White House announced that it would introduce vaccines for children between the ages of 5 and 11 as soon as they are cleared by the FDA and CDC.

Related: Find 2020 Non-COVID Immunization Rates for Schools and Daycare Centers in Michigan

People who live with children said they felt less safe doing outside activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wilden said this suggests some Detroiters who are suspicious of the vaccine are still taking the pandemic seriously.

A large proportion of respondents, 31%, said they are undecided or likely to receive the vaccine. Researchers found that this group may be receptive to vaccination initiatives.

However, adults with children are less than half as likely to trust the accuracy of the news they receive from media sources, and they are also far less likely to trust the information provided by their doctors, the CDC and politicians.

The study found that Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration was a more trustworthy source of COVID-19 information than Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, President Joe Biden, news sources or faith leaders. The CDC and personal doctors were the most trusted sources of information.

The most common reasons for not vaccinating included concerns about side effects, the safety of the vaccine, and the effectiveness of the vaccine. About three quarters of unvaccinated adults living with children gave these reasons.

They also reported feeling more social pressures related to vaccines than people without children; half of adults living with children said they felt pressured to get vaccinated and 34% felt pressured not to get vaccinated.

Data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services shows a large gap in Detroit’s vaccination rates compared to the rest of the state.

State data shows that 63% of eligible Michigan residents received a dose and 59% were fully vaccinated. In Detroit, 46% received the first dose and 39% are fully vaccinated.

Adults living with children were also less likely to support vaccination needs for schools, work, travel, and events.

View the full study results here.

For more nationwide data, please visit MLive’s coronavirus data page.

To find a testing site near you, check out the state’s online test search, email [email protected], or call 888-535-6136 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.

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