Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Health Sciences

Committee Chair

Tishra Beeson

Second Committee Member

Amie Wojtyna

Third Committee Member

Katarina Mucha


Introduction: Vaccines are the best protection against COVID-19 and have been proven to be safe and effective. Parental efforts to protect their children by complying with or refusing pediatric vaccinations have previously been studied. However, the author found little research on how parental status affects the vaccination decisions for the parents. Using an explanatory sequential mixed-methods approach and the Health Belief Model, this study examines how parental status influences parental COVID-19 vaccination status. Methods: A local health department conducted a quantitative survey on COVID-19 vaccination attitudes and beliefs from September to October 2021. The COVID-19 vaccination status of parents of young children was compared to that of adults in the same age range without young children using a chi-square test. The author interviewed 11 vaccinated parents between March and April 2022. Results: Parental status has no statistically significant relationship with COVID-19 vaccination status. The qualitative findings support the quantitative findings by showing that while parental status influences vaccination and health decisions, it is not the primary motivator. Conclusions: While some parents protect their children from COVID-19 and other diseases by vaccinating themselves, being a parent is not the primary motivation, and it is not the only protective measure taken. This study raises questions about how public health can support parents of young children to make the best possible decisions for themselves and their families.