Date of Award


Document Type



College of Nursing

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Project Mentor

Ben White


Suzan Knowles


Background: As of May 3, 2023, within Washington state, of those aged 5-11 years old only 36.8% having received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and only 32.3% are fully vaccinated. Since October 2021, the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer-BioNTech has been approved for everyone ages 5 years and older. Current recommendations encourage parents to vaccinate their children in this age group, but it is possible Washington parents have some reservations or other difficulties with choosing to vaccinate their children against COVID-19. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore what factors influence parents of Washington state when deciding not to vaccinate their children against COVID-19. The aims of this project were to better understand parental vaccine hesitancy towards the COVID-19 vaccine, explore where parents gather information about the COVID-19 vaccine, and to produce findings that may influence future COVID-19 vaccine campaigns. Design: This study used a Qualitative Phenomenological Design, which utilized exploratory one-on-one interviews with parents to explore their thoughts and concerns with the COVID-19 vaccine and explore where they access information about the vaccine. Much of the design of this project was guided by the Health Belief Model theoretical framework. Results: Seven parents from Washington state were interviewed. Thematic Content Analysis produced three overarching themes which were: safety, misinformation, and lack of trust. Conclusions: Safety of the COVID-19 vaccine was the largest contributor to vaccine hesitancy in interviewed parents. The presence of an Infodemic related to COVID-19 is evident. Many parents referenced false information about the COVID-19 vaccine which greatly influenced their decision to not vaccinate their children. Some parents in the study expressed a lack of trust in their children’s healthcare provider’s and overall healthcare organizations, a concerning finding for healthcare providers in Washington state.