Study co-led by NU researchers find increase in support for school vaccination requirements since February


Daily file illustration by Hank Yang

The consortium found that support for vaccination requirements increased from 54 to 58 percent since February.

Yunkyo Kim, Campus Editor

Support for school vaccination requirements rose four percent in the last three months across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines, according to findings from a nationwide survey co-led by Northwestern researchers. 

The study, a collaboration between NU, Harvard University, Northeastern University and Rutgers University, came shortly before the Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer-BioNTech for distribution to children aged 12 to 15 on Monday. 

The study surveyed over 21,000 people across the nation between April 1 and May 3 pertaining to attitudes on childhood vaccinations and requirements for vaccination for students to return to in-person learning, according to a Friday news release. 

It found that support for vaccination requirements increased from 54 to 58 percent since February. 

A lead researcher for the study, political science Prof. James Druckman said the report will motivate discussions about vaccine requirements. 

“Many colleges have debated whether to require student vaccinations and now those debates are bound to occur with regard to secondary schools,” Druckman said in the release.

Due to large differences of attitude toward vaccination across party lines and regions, researchers concluded that the results may foreshadow where the requirements will enact. The study found 76 percent of support among Democrats — a leap from 38 percent of Republicans. 

Among racial groups, the study found that Hispanic and Black Americans’ support for vaccination requirements rose the most. Hispanic respondents increased their support by 7 percent from 57 percent in February, whereas 5 percent more Black respondents showed support for vaccination requirements at 63 percent.

Additionally, respondents who reside in cities showed more support for vaccination requirements than those in suburban and rural areas. 

“This would result in the continued uneven national trend that we have seen throughout COVID-19, with Democratic-leaning areas taking more precautions than Republican ones,” Druckman said in the release.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @YunkyoMoonK

Related Stories:

Students discuss uncertainty about vaccination requirements for Fall Quarter

Researchers find favorable vaccine attitudes after J&J vaccine hold

Fully vaccinated? What you can do, according to CDC and University guidelines