Featured Scholar: Nir Menachemi, Ph.D., MPH
Fairbanks Endowed Chair, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health
Professor, Health Policy and Management Department Chair
Research Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DocjO5RkurU
What is motivating parents' COVID-19 vaccination decisions? A Statewide Survey of Indiana Parents
The COVID-19 vaccine is already available to children over 12 years old, and it will soon be available for children 5- 11 years old. Professor Nir Menachemi and his research partner, Professor Katharine Head, wanted to understand Hoosier parents’ perceptions of the COVID-19 vaccine and assess their intentions to get their children vaccinated. This sort of information can assist state and local governments, public health agencies, and community organizations in crafting targeted educational campaigns and other strategies that will assure high uptake of the vaccine among children.
They worked with the Indiana Department of Health and the Indiana Department of Education to recruit parents and caregivers across Indiana to fill out a web-based survey that assessed their perceptions about the COVID-19 vaccination. Over 10,000 parents filled out the anonymous survey! Some of the key findings include that only about 45% of parents have or intend to vaccinate their children, while about 42% do not intend to vaccinate. About 13% of parents who said they would “wait and see.” Of those wait and see parents, the researchers found some interesting perceptions about the vaccine that may suggest ways they can develop targeted educational messages to hopefully encourage them to get vaccinated, such as their perceptions of safety, perceptions of what other parents are doing, and perceptions about what their healthcare provider would want them to do. Based on these findings, they have developed a set of evidence-based suggestions for designing parent and family focused COVID-19 vaccination interventions that can be implemented in communities across Indiana.
Professor Menachemi's translation of research into strategies to increase the number of vaccinated children in the fight against COVID-19 is another excellent example of how IUPUI's faculty members are TRANSLATING their RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE.