Clinician perspectives on pediatric COVID-19 vaccination: A qualitative study in central and western, Massachusetts

Author Department

Healthcare Quality

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



We explored perspectives of clinicians in central and western Massachusetts about efforts to vaccinate pediatric patients against COVID-19 as well as best practices and challenges for vaccine delivery. We conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews (n = 16) with family practice and pediatric clinicians between late October and early December 2021. Our interviews addressed: process for vaccination and vaccine promotion, parental receptivity to COVID-19 vaccination, receptivity to other pediatric vaccines, resources needed to support vaccine promotion, and best practices developed to encourage hesitant parents. Using a multi-prong recruitment strategy we invited clinicians to participate in telephone interviews, which were audio-recorded and transcribed. We used rapid qualitative analysis to produce summary templates for each interview which were ultimately combined into a matrix summary. The majority of participants (n = 10) were offering the vaccine in their own clinics, while the remainder cited challenges related to staffing, logistics, and space that prevented them from offering the vaccine. Clinicians reported parents fall into three groups: vaccine-accepting, hesitant but potentially accepting, and refusers. Strategies they identified that worked to encourage hesitant parents were sharing personal vaccine stories, acknowledging parents' fears about the vaccine, and being persistent with the most hesitant parents. Yet resources are needed including educational materials and training in how to have these conversations. While challenges related to staffing and space will be difficult to overcome for clinics to be able to offer vaccination on-site, our results highlight the importance of developing effective messaging strategies and training clinicians in how to integrate them into routine practice.

Keywords: EUA, Emergency Use Authorization; RQA, Rapid Qualitative Analysis.