26 Stats That Answer: How Will the COVID Vaccine Change School and Sports?

December 14, 2020

Anum Hussain

To vaccine or not vaccine, that is… one of many questions for the upcoming new year. And whether there is or isn’t, will kids return to school? Sports? Gatherings? Practices? What does or will return to play look like?

The questions are endless. And while it might sometimes feel like there are no answers, we thought turning to the greater community might help at least shed some perspective on where everyone's heads are at.

We spoke to over 800 parents across the United States to learn where thoughts are. Here’s what we learned.

Waiting on a Vaccine

News about a COVID vaccine seems to be taking over headlines, and with a possible option on the horizon. An overwhelming majority of parents are keeping tabs on the vaccine and when it may become available. We also heard:

77% of parents are currently or planning to read up on and learn about its effectiveness and safety. (Click to Tweet!)



Once available, 73% of parents plan to be vaccinated and have their child vaccinated. (Click to Tweet!)



85% reported that news of a possible vaccine being available as early as January 2021 fills them with hope. (Click to Tweet!)



77% of parents believe that having a vaccine will mean a complete return to normalcy for their children with regards to schooling. (Click to Tweet!)


7 in 10 parents agree that a vaccine will lead to a complete return to normalcy when it comes to sports + activities. (Click to Tweet!)



61% of parents believe public and private (42%) schools will make the vaccine mandatory for attendance. (Click to Tweet!)


45% feel that employers will make the vaccine mandatory. (Click to Tweet!)


41% think that a vaccine will be mandatory for participation in recreational sports leagues. (Click to Tweet!)


Hoping for normalcy.

Across the board, for themselves and for their kids, parents were most excited about returning to their normal schedules and social lives. This included:

3/4 of parents are looking forward to resuming family gatherings. (Click to Tweet!)


63% of parents are excited to have their children return to school in-person. (Click to Tweet!)


56% of parents are excited to have sports practices return to normal. (Click to Tweet!)


51% of parents eagerly await being able to hold large gatherings with friends. (Click to Tweet!)


46% of parents eagerly await being able to celebrate milestone events like weddings and graduations. (Click to Tweet)


59% of parents say that they will return to work in-person and begin attending religious services even if a vaccine is not mandatory. (Click to Tweet!)


Half of parents state that they will not send their children back to school in person unless the vaccine is mandatory. (Click to Tweet!


57% state they will let their children resume all sports + activities regardless if vaccines are required. (Click to Tweet!)


54% plan to resume going to the gym and participating in fitness classes. (Click to Tweet!)


60% of parents are planning to resume routine health and wellness care/screenings (physicals, dentist appointments) without a vaccine being mandatory. (Click to Tweet!)


A Post-Covid World

So what could 2021 look like once a vaccine is available? Not everyone thinks everything will immediately go back to normal. Here’s what we heard:

90% of parents are in agreement that even once the vaccine becomes widely available, some precautions will continue. (Click to Tweet!)


73% of parents believe adults (and 68% children) will continue to wear masks. (Click to Tweet!)


73% state the increased sanitation and cleaning protocols will remain intact. (Click to Tweet!)


63% of parents say that people will continue to practice social distancing. (Click to Tweet!)


70% of parents agree that their ability to watch practices as they did pre-COVID will be slow to return. (Click to Tweet!)


2/3 of parents believe that team parties will be slow to resume while 10% believe they will not resume at all. (Click to Tweet!)


64% of parents say that their children being able to compete without restrictions, like masks, will be a slow rollout. (Click to Tweet!)


1/3 feel that their child will immediately be able to return to practices without restrictions. (Click to Tweet!)


...phew that’s a lot. While that gives us a view of what our communities might be like next year, how are our communities feeling during COVID and finding ways to still engage? We also spoke to parents about this and provide tips for virtual connection. Check it all out in our latest ebook below.

Fostering a School Community Amidst a Pandemic

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