The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently announced the launch of a new public health campaign to educate caregivers about the benefits of getting COVID-19 vaccines for all ages.
“Parents have been waiting a long time to vaccinate their youngest children so they can get the same protection against serious illness and hospitalization that the rest of us have been offered,” said AAP president Moira Szilagyi, MD, PhD, FAAP. “The months, and even years, of worry have been especially hard on these families as they adjusted their activities through the pandemic to keep their children safe. COVID-19 vaccination for this age group is one more tool parents now have in their toolbox to help their children thrive.”
With the FDA approval of both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 6 months and older, the AAP highlighted the need for parents and caregivers to contact their pediatricians with any questions they may have and to learn how to access the vaccines.
For children under the age of 5, families or caregivers can choose to get either the 2-dose Moderna vaccine or 3-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. After the FDA approval, the academy updated its policy statement on COVID-19 vaccines for those aged 6 months and older to reflect the availability of safe and effective vaccines. They recommend all children aged 6 months and older receive a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for their age group—including a primary series and boosters—unless contraindicated.
“Both vaccines are safe and offer good protection against the most severe effects of the virus,” said Yvonne A. Maldonado, MD, FAAP, chair of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, in the release. “Millions of children and teens have been vaccinated, and we know a lot about how safe and effective the vaccines are in older age groups. The data are also very reassuring in this youngest age group.”
In the release, the AAP urged one-on-one conversations with doctors as the best way to get factual information on the vaccine from a trusted source. The public service announcement (PSA) will encourage those conversations, according to the academy. The announcement will be launched in both English and Spanish encouraging patients to talk with their child’s pediatrician about the vaccine. The PSAs are currently available in both languages on YouTube. Additionally, TV and radio outlets can access them via Extreme Reach starting on June 27.
As COVID-19 vaccines become available for children ages 6 months to 4 years, AAP urges families to reach out to pediatricians to ask questions and access vaccine. American Academy of Pediatrics. Published June 21, 2022. Accessed June 23, 2022. https://www.aap.org/en/news-room/news-releases/aap/2022/as-covid-19-vaccines-become-available-for-children-ages-6-months-to-4-years-aap-urges-families-to-reach-out-to-pediatricians-to-ask-questions-and-access-vaccine/