Vaccination Rates Up in Teens After Omicron Surge

Young woman with face mask getting vaccinated, coronavirus, covid-19 and vaccination concept. Closeup of a nervous woman and her doctor wearing face masks and getting a vaccine shot in a doctor’s office
The rise in vaccination rates among teens is most likely due to the surge of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which started in late November 2021.

The percentage of adolescents receiving the COVID-19 vaccine has risen by 12% since November 2021 — from 49% to 62%, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Vaccine Monitor report. Another 3% of parents of adolescents (aged 12 to 17 years) now say they plan to get their child vaccinated as soon as possible, and 6% say they want to “wait and see” how it works for others before doing so.

The rise in vaccination rates in this age group is most likely due to the surge of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which started in late November 2021.

The increase in vaccination rates was also seen among children aged 5 to 11 years, who became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in early November 2021.  One-third of parents of 5- to11-year-old children (33%, up from 16% in November) reported their children were vaccinated. In addition, 13% of parents said they want to get their child vaccinated “right away” while 19% report they want to “wait and see” before doing so. Others were more resistant, according to KFF, with 24% reporting they “definitely will not” get their child vaccinated and 9% saying they would “only do so if required for school.”

Although children younger than 5 years are still not yet eligible for a vaccine, 3 in 10 parents said they will get their child vaccinated “right away once a vaccine is approved for their age group”, which is up from 1 in 5 parents surveyed July 2021.

Other key findings included:

  • Twenty-one percent of parents of vaccinated teenagers reported that their child received a COVID-19 booster; an additional 65% said they will “definitely” or “probably get” one. Just 14% of parents of vaccinated teens say their child “probably” or “definitely won’t” get the booster.
  • Approximately 14% of parents of unvaccinated children aged 5 to 17 years said that news about the Omicron variant “makes them more likely to get their [children] vaccinated, while a large majority (79%) say that it makes no difference.”
  •  Half of parents reported being worried about their child becoming seriously sick from SARS-CoV-2, including substantially higher numbers among Black or Hispanic parents and those with lower incomes.
  • Four in 10 parents of school-age children reported some type of disruption to their child’s in-person learning in the first month of 2022 including needing to quarantine, schools shutting down in-person classes, or parents choosing to keep children home due to safety concerns. Approximately 63% of parents said their child’s school did not provide access to COVID-19 testing before returning to classes in January 2022.

The KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor is an ongoing research project tracking the public’s attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations.


Vaccine monitor: 6 in 10 parents of teens and one-third of parents of 5-11 year-olds say their child is vaccinated for COVID-19, both up since November. Kaiser Family Foundation. Published February 1, 2022. Accessed February 15, 2022.

This article originally appeared on Clinical Advisor