Mixed-methods examination of attitudes and behaviors related to COVID-19 vaccines among parents of children with autism and autistic adults.

Mixed-methods examination of attitudes and behaviors related to COVID-19 vaccines among parents of children with autism and autistic adults.

Publication date: Jan 19, 2024

Increased risks associated with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) combined with previous reports of heightened vaccine hesitancy among parents of children with ASD indicate the need for a better understanding of attitudes and behaviors related to COVID-19 vaccines among the ASD community. This study is the first to our knowledge to use a mixed-methods approach to understand attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccines among parents of children with ASD and autistic adults. Participants were 135 members of the ASD community residing in the state of Arizona (99 parents of children with ASD and 36 autistic adults) who responded to the third (Spring 2021) and fourth (Summer 2021) time points of a larger longitudinal online survey. Quantitative findings indicated that autistic adults had slightly more favorable attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccines than parents, and attitudes in both subsamples became more positive over time. However, both parents and autistic adults reported COVID-19 vaccine uptake that was consistent with or better than the general population at both time points. Thematic analysis of responses to open-ended questions identified five themes that characterized factors that contributed to participants’ decisions about COVID-19 vaccinations, including: (1) Desiring a Return to Normalcy, (2) Protection of Self and Others, (3) Previous Experience with COVID-19 (4) Science and Medical Professionals,and (5) Skepticism Regarding Safety, Effectiveness, and Need. Current findings combined with emerging literature paint a relatively optimistic picture about COVID-19 vaccine acceptance in the ASD community.

Concepts Keywords
Arizona Autism spectrum disorder
Autistic Autistic adults
Covid COVID-19
Spring Parents
Vaccines Vaccine acceptance
Vaccine hesitancy

Semantics

Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease MESH autism
disease MESH autism spectrum disorder
disease IDO disorder
disease VO vaccine
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide
disease VO time
disease VO COVID-19 vaccine
disease VO population
disease VO effectiveness

Original Article

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