COVID-19 Vaccine Perspective From Adolescents’ Lens in the US.

Publication date: Feb 01, 2024

Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an unprecedented global health issue. The World Health Organization estimates 773 million confirmed cases and 7 million deaths. Vaccination continues to be the most effective way to prevent COVID-19 and has demonstrated safety and efficacy in all age groups. Though a lot of studies have looked at COVID-19 vaccination acceptance and hesitancy in adults, there is scarce research addressing adolescent vaccination readiness. COVID-19 infection in this age group may result in lost school days, school and community transmission, and loss of productivity for parents. Aim This study aims to determine COVID-19 vaccination rates and factors influencing its acceptance and hesitancy in adolescents in a community setting. Methods A voluntary survey was conducted at a local high school in May 2023. Information was collected about the demographics of adolescents and the educational background of parents/guardians. The survey assessed the COVID vaccine rate, reasons for COVID-19 vaccine acceptance or refusal, number of doses of COVID-19 vaccine and boosters received, prior history of COVID-19 infection, source of information on COVID-19 vaccine, flu vaccine acceptance by the students, and whether they would be willing to take a COVID-19 vaccine booster. Results Four hundred participants, ranging in age from 13 to 19, were surveyed. The vaccination rate in boys was comparable to that in girls. 72% received at least one COVID-19 vaccine, and 66% were considered completely vaccinated. Of those completely vaccinated, 80% had undergone further updated COVID-19 booster vaccinations. Adolescents whose parents/guardians were college graduates had a higher vaccination rate than those whose parents/guardians were not. Caucasians and Asians had a higher vaccination rate compared to African Americans and mixed races. The vaccination rate was not statistically different in adolescents with prior COVID-19 infection versus no prior infection. Flu vaccination was associated with higher COVID-19 vaccination rates. Lack of trust was an important reason for vaccine hesitancy, along with questions about efficacy, concerns about side effects, parent/guardian decisions, and religious reasons. Protecting oneself, family/friends, and community were the major reasons to take the vaccine. Parents/guardians, physicians, peers, television, social media, flyers, and schools were the primary sources that adolescents relied on for information about the COVID-19 vaccination. Conclusion Lower education attainment among parents/guardians, African Americans, and mixed races was associated with lower vaccination rates. Lack of trust in the vaccine, questions about efficacy, and fear of side effects were the most frequently cited reasons for vaccine hesitancy. Parent/guardian influence and religious reasons were other significant reasons for vaccine hesitancy. Flu vaccination was associated with higher COVID-19 vaccination rates. Understanding factors influencing COVID-19 vaccination will allow us to address barriers to COVID-19 vaccination and other vaccinations appropriate for this age group. Educating adolescents in schools, involving local and state health departments to increase awareness about the vaccine, and educating parents and guardians along with the teenagers can help increase the acceptance of the vaccine. These interventions will also positively affect the acceptance of the booster and prepare us for any future pandemics.

Concepts Keywords
Asians covid 19 vaccine
Pandemic
Races
Teenagers
Vaccinated

Semantics

Type Source Name
disease VO COVID-19 vaccine
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease VO organization
disease VO vaccination
disease VO effective
disease MESH infection
disease IDO history
disease VO vaccine
disease VO vaccinated
disease VO LACK

Original Article

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