The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unique stressors for youth in foster care and recent foster care alumni, particularly those who are also parenting young children. One way the pandemic can be mitigated is through vaccination of the general population. Yet, some young adults have been slow to choose to be vaccinated. As has been demonstrated, simple availability of the COVID-19 vaccine will not guarantee its uptake, especially among marginalized populations. In order to better understand the nuances of vaccination among youth in foster care and recent foster care alumni, we conducted in-depth, semi-structured focus groups and interviews with 23 parenting youth with foster care histories aged 18-26 years. Data regarding vaccine attitudes were analyzed using thematic analysis. Participating youth, who were majority Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and often lived in multigenerational households, had significant concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine. They expressed varying degrees of intention to get vaccinated. Young people, especially those who belong to marginalized populations, need opportunities to openly discuss their vaccination-related questions without judgment. Science communicators should consider these questions and address youths’ concerns through diverse voices and channels to ensure youth have the information they need to make an informed decision regarding COVID-19 vaccination.
- Adolescent health
- Foster youth