There are typically lower COVID-19 vaccination rates among developing versus higher-income countries, which is exacerbated by greater vaccine hesitancy. However, despite the increasing evidence of safety, parents are still reluctant to vaccinate their children against COVID-19. This is a concern in countries experiencing successive waves, such as Pakistan. Consequently, the objective of this study was to gain better understanding and practice regarding parents vaccinating their children against COVID-19 in Pakistan. A cross-sectional study was conducted to measure parents’ attitudes towards vaccinating their children. In total, 451 parents participated in the study, giving a response rate of 70.4%; 67.4% were female, 43.2% belonged to the 40–49 years age group, and 47.7% had three children, with 73% of parents fully immunized against COVID-19. We found that 84.7% of parents did not consider COVID-19 to be a very serious issue, and 53.9% considered that their children were not at high risk of COVID-19. Overall, only a quarter of the study participants had currently vaccinated their children and 11.8% were willing to vaccinate their children in the near future. Parents who had a better knowledge of COVID-19, secondary or higher education, children who had chronic illness, and those parents whose children had been infected with COVID-19 were more likely to have their children vaccinated. The most common reasons for vaccine hesitancy were “my child is not at high risk of COVID-19” (61%) and “I am afraid to put/inject a foreign object inside my child’s body” (52.2%). Overall, vaccine acceptance was low among the parents of the children. Those parents with higher education, chronic illnesses, greater knowledge of COVID-19 and its vaccines, and those whose children had been infected with COVID-19 were significantly (p < 0.001) inclined towards vaccinating their children. Effective campaigns as well as awareness sessions are needed to address misinformation and reduce vaccine hesitancy.


© 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Cite as

Ul Harmain, Z., AlKubaisi, N., Hasnain, M., Salman, M., Baraka, M., Ul Mustafa, Z., Habib Khan, Y., Mallhi, T., Meyer, J. & Godman, B. 2023, 'Awareness and practices towards vaccinating their children against COVID-19: a cross-sectional study among Pakistani parents', Healthcare, 11(17), article no: 2378. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11172378

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Last updated: 03 May 2024
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