GRI Faculty Affiliate David Lazer spoke with Steve Inskeep of NPR about new data around vaccine hesitancy among parents as the FDA prepares to approve the Pfizer vaccine for some children.



Here in the United States, the FDA is expected soon to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for children age 12 to 15. They will be able to use it so long as their parents approve. David Lazer has been looking into that part of it. He found evidence that some parents are concerned. He is co-director of The COVID States Project, which researches links between social behaviors and virus transmission. Good morning, sir.

DAVID LAZER: Good morning.

INSKEEP: So based on your research, are most parents ready to take their kids to get vaccinated?

LAZER: Most parents are, but there is a minority of parents, around 1 in 5, who are strongly vaccine resistant, that they say they are very unlikely to get their children vaccinated.

INSKEEP: Well, let’s talk through the attitudes you found in that 1 out of 5 parents. Are they simply people who chose not to get the vaccine for themselves and the decision is the same for their kids?

LAZER: We do see a strong relationship between people’s decision for themselves as for their children. But we also see some things that are special in terms of the decision-making for children, for example, a big difference between mothers and fathers.

INSKEEP: Oh, what is the difference between mothers and fathers?

LAZER: We see mothers tend to be more vaccine resistant than fathers. So roughly almost a third of younger mothers, for example, are – say they’re unlikely to vaccinate their children. And it’s around a quarter for older mothers, whereas for fathers, the vaccine resistance is at around 11%. So there’s actually a very big difference between mothers and fathers.


See full interview here.