Fewer Parents Talking to Child’s Regular Provider About Vaccines

Among parents who said they talked with their child's regular doctor about flu and/or COVID-19 vaccines, most reported positive experiences.

HealthDay News — One in seven U.S. parents have not talked about vaccines with their child’s regular provider in the past two years, according to the results of a survey released by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

Sarah J. Clark, and colleagues from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, asked a national sample of 1,483 parents of children aged 6 to 18 years about discussions with health care providers related to vaccines.

According to the results of the survey, most parents have talked about vaccines with their child’s regular doctor in the past two years, most often about vaccines needed for school (82 percent) and less often about flu vaccines (68 percent) or COVID-19 vaccines (57 percent). Yet, 15 percent of parents said they did not discuss any vaccines with their child’s regular doctor. Some parents reported discussions with other health professionals, such as pharmacists or nurses, about school vaccines (4 percent), flu vaccines (8 percent), or COVID-19 vaccines (14 percent). Among parents who said they talked with their child’s regular doctor about flu and/or COVID-19 vaccines, most reported positive experiences, including that the provider was open to their questions and concerns (81 percent for flu; 82 percent for COVID-19) and offered information that was helpful in making their decision (71 percent for flu; 72 percent for COVID-19).

“These findings suggest a change in the role of the primary care provider as the ‘go-to information source’ for vaccines,” the authors of the survey write. “Of note is the lower rate of parent-provider discussion of COVID vaccine compared to school vaccines, despite COVID vaccine being new.”

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