A University of Michigan (UM) survey finds that only 34 percent of Detroit adults living with children between the ages of 12 and 17 report that they have either gotten their child/children vaccinated or are likely to get their child/children vaccinated against COVID-19.
When asked about the likelihood of getting younger children vaccinated once they are eligible, just 13 percent adults living in households with children under age 12 say they are comfortable having their kids vaccinated once they are eligible.
The discomfort that many adults feel toward vaccinating the children in their household is also evident in their willingness to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine for themselves. Only 38 percent of adults living in Detroit households with children, as against 70 percent of adults living in Detroit households without children, report that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Equally notable is the large share of adults living with children in Detroit that have no intention of getting vaccinated. Some 31 percent of adults living in households with children say they are unlikely to get vaccinated, as against 16 percent of adults living without children in their household.
According to the survey, 56 percent of Detroit adults support requiring vaccines for students to attend K-12 schools in person, once they are eligible. Twenty-four percent of Detroit adults oppose requiring COVID-19 vaccines for K-12 school enrollment, and 19 percent remain unsure. These levels of support are similar to those expressed for vaccine requirements in other public activities, including attending large events, flying on an airplane, using public transit, attending school in person, and working outside the home.
The support for vaccine requirements is largely driven by Detroiters who have already gotten vaccinated. Detroiters who have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine are twice as likely to be in favor of vaccine mandates as unvaccinated residents. For example, while 74 percent of vaccinated Detroiters support requiring proof of vaccination to attend a K-12 school in person, just 33 percent of unvaccinated residents support such a requirement.
For adults living in Detroit households with children who are significantly less likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine for themselves or their children, the reasons behind the decision not to vaccinate are similar to those of households without children. Both groups listed concerns about the safety, 78 percent, and side effects, 78 percent, of the vaccine as a reason behind their choice.
Since 2016, UM's Detroit Metro Area Communities Study has been conducting a panel survey of a representative sample of Detroit households. The study stands apart from many others in that participants are randomly selected from a list of validated Detroit addresses, permitted to take the survey online or over the phone with a live interviewer, and compensated for their participation. Final responses are weighted to reflect the city's demographics. The latest survey was open from June 2 to July 9, 2021, and captures the views of 1,898 residents.