Majority of Latino Parents Support Vaccine Requirements for Kids, Educational Staff to Return to In-Person Schooling

New survey reveals Latino parents among most likely to have children vaccinated, have growing concern for safety amid the rising presence of delta variant.

WASHINGTON, DC – An overwhelming majority of Latino parents support policies that require all students and educational staff to be vaccinated for in-person schooling, according to a new survey by UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza) of Latino parents about evolving perceptions of the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines.

More than 5 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. Most Latino parents— nearly 90%— are increasingly concerned that their children will become seriously ill from COVID-19, and 7 in 10 (70%) expressed support for requiring that all students and staff be vaccinated for children to safely return to school, according to the survey.

As the delta variant continues to spread across the country, risks for infection are increasing for Latino children who are back in school and remain unvaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Latino children are more than three times as likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than non-Hispanic white children.

On the positive side, Latino parents are more likely to have vaccinated their eligible children. More than 6 in 10 Latino parents (62%) have vaccinated their eligible children, compared to 41% of parents overall.

“The bottom line is that Latino parents—like all parents—want their kids to be safe and healthy,” said Rita Carreón, Vice President for Health at UnidosUS. “For most, that means requiring teachers and classmates to be vaccinated and protected against COVID-19.”

However, the lack of clear information about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines for children appears to be a persistent concern among Latino parents, our findings show. Among Latino parents with children under 12, 3 in 4 (75%) have concerns about the safety of the vaccines and their potential side effects. That could translate to lower vaccination rates in the short-term with emergency authorization for younger children on the horizon.

This underscores the need for increased access to credible and accurate information about vaccine safety. Our survey findings show that vaccine-hesitant Hispanic parents rely on trusted authorities for clarity on vaccine safety. Nearly two-thirds of Latino parents say they trust their doctors on vaccine guidance, and among Latino parents with children under 12, 4 in 10 (40%) say their child’s doctor has already recommended that they vaccinate their child once authorized.

“Misinformation about vaccine safety remains a barrier for Latinos and other unvaccinated Americans looking to protect their families,” Carreón said. “It remains critical that factual, clear and evidence-based guidance on vaccines makes its way to Latino parents so they can make informed decisions about their children’s health.”

About the poll

UnidosUS conducted a poll from August 12-21, 2021 via telephone and online among 1,478 Latino parents with children ages 18 and younger. Among them, 1,053 have children age 11 or younger, and 746 have children between 12 and 18 years of age. The poll included state oversamples of respondents in Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas. The poll included non-citizens and was conducted in English and Spanish.

The full survey can be found here.

Learn more about UnidosUS’ Esperanza Hope for All campaign, an institution-wide initiative to mitigate the health, economic, and education effects of the coronavirus pandemic on Latinos. The campaign leverages our institution’s advocacy, public health response, and Affiliate network to promote vaccine awareness, confidence, and acceptance among Hispanic communities across the country.

UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For more than 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit www.unidosus.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.