Moving the Needle on Kids’ COVID-19 Vaccines: A Conversation with Medical Expert Parents

As vaccine uptake remains low among children, and with the recent authorization of updated booster shots for children five and older, the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project convened a webinar aimed at addressing parents’ lingering questions about COVID-19 vaccines. The panelists – including pediatricians to epidemiologists – brought their perspectives as parents along with their medical expertise for an open dialogue aimed at building trust and increasing awareness about the importance of keeping children up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations.

Panelists included:

  • Dr. Uché Blackstock, Founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity
  • Dr. Katelyn Jetelina, Founder and Author of Your Local Epidemiologist
  • Dr. Ilan Shapiro, Chief Health Correspondent and Medical Affairs Officer, AltaMed

You can watch the discussion here:

Parent Perspectives: A Conversation on COVID-19 Vaccines for Children

As new variants of COVID-19 continue to circulate and vaccine uptake among children remains low, the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project (CVEEP) and HealthyWomen recently convened a discussion with parents and a grandparent discussing why they chose to vaccinate their children. The conversation also included panelists’ perspectives about common questions related to the COVID-19 vaccine for children and how their children handled the vaccination process.

Panelists included:

  • Pamela Price, mother
  • Charlotte Stephenson, grandmother and guardian
  • Beth Battaglino, RN-C, mother and CEO of HealthyWomen and Co-Convener of CVEEP

The discussion was moderated by Stefanie Williamson, HealthyWomen’s Director of Media Relations/Director of Women’s Health Advisory Council.

Watch the conversation here:

COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project Releases PSAs on Importance of Vaccination and Boosters

Radio spots feature trusted community voices, including first doctor to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the United States, to educate hesitant populations on the importance of COVID-19 vaccination and boosters where uptake remains low

Access the new radio PSAs here.

WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 3, 2022 – The COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project, a group of more than 230 leading organizations convening a dialogue around vaccine education, today launched a public service announcement (PSA) campaign that highlights the continued importance of COVID-19 vaccination and boosters for hesitant populations. The three-month national radio PSA campaign features trusted voices to help connect with diverse and rural communities, including Dr. Yves Duroseau, Chairman of Emergency Medicine, Lenox Hill Hospital; Betsy Huber, President, The National Grange; and Dr. Ilan Shapiro, Chief Health Officer and Medical Correspondent, AltaMed.

While COVID-19 vaccines and boosters remain widely available in the United States, uptake continues to lag, particularly among minority and rural populations. The new PSAs, available in 15, 30 and 60-second recordings with Spanish and English options, provide audiences with information from authentic spokespeople to encourage communities to stay up to date on all recommended COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.

“Trusted messengers continue to play a crucial role in fostering an open dialogue about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination,” said Karyne Jones, President & CEO, National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc. (NCBA) and Co-Convener of the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project. “Our PSAs feature spokespeople from diverse backgrounds to help connect with communities experiencing vaccine hesitancy to promote more equitable uptake in COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, which continue to serve as the best ways of protecting yourself and your community.”

The PSAs are available here and include:

  • Dr. Yves Duroseau, Chairman of Emergency Medicine, Lenox Hill Hospital
    As the first doctor in the United States to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in December of 2020, Dr. Duroseau is an advocate for vaccination within his hospital and community. His spots are recorded in English and spotlight the impact of COVID-19 on the Black community and importance of vaccination for being protected against future illness.
  • Dr. Ilan Shapiro, Chief Health Officer and Medical Correspondent, AltaMed
    Dr. Shapiro is a highly engaged medical voice within the Hispanic community. His spots highlight the importance of booster shots for increasing immune response and preventing severe illness from variants like Omicron and are available in both English and Spanish.
  • Betsy Huber, President, The National Grange
    Not only is Betsy a mother, grandmother and great grandmother, but she is also a leader within the rural community as president of The National Grange. Her spots are recorded in English and focus on the importance of vaccination for personal protection as well as for one’s family and community.

COVID-19 vaccines remain highly effective against the virus – preventing hospitalization and severe illness – but protection can wane over time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone age five and up be vaccinated, and everyone age 12 and up get a booster dose. Booster shots increase the level of immune response in people who are fully vaccinated, giving them more protection against COVID-19. With Omicron, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization was 91 percent after a booster, and stayed high at 78 percent four or more months after a third dose.

Additional information about the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project is available here.

About the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project
As more than 230 leading organizations representing patients, caregivers and families, diverse communities, healthcare workers, older Americans, veterans, frontline workers and scientists, the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project launched in December 2020 to provide information about the clinical trials process, regulatory review, distribution of and access to potential COVID-19 vaccines in a way that promotes equity and trust. Support for the project has been provided by Pfizer, Inc., Johnson & Johnson and Novartis. Learn more at covidvaccineproject.org and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn at @COVIDVxProject.

COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project’s Statement on Boosters

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has expanded access and strengthened its guidance on boosters, recommending that everyone aged 18 and older should get a booster shot either at least 6 months after completing their initial Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna two dose vaccine series or 2 months after receiving their initial J&J-Janssen vaccine.

The CDC’s recommendation also allows for “mix and match dosing for booster shots.” Regardless of the COVID-19 vaccine you received initially, you may choose which of the authorized COVID-19 vaccine you receive as a booster.

Throughout the pandemic there have been ongoing clinical studies to monitor the safety and efficacy of the authorize vaccines. The research has shown that all authorized COVID-19 vaccines remain highly effective against the virus. While it is important for fully vaccinated adults to get booster shots, it is also critical that we continue to encourage family and friends who have yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to do so as soon as possible.

Building Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines for Younger Children

Given the recent Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 vaccination of children ages 5-11, the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project convened a webinar aimed at addressing key questions and considerations related to younger children and the vaccine. A panel of health experts discussed how the clinical trials were conducted for this age group, the regulatory approval process that was followed and addressed parents’ top questions to help build confidence in the vaccine for children 5-11.

Participants included:
• Dr. Takeisha Davis, CEO of New Orleans East Hospital
• Dr. Bert Johansson, Executive Board Member of National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA)
• Dr. Todd Wolynn, CEO and Founding Physician of Kids Plus Pediatrics

This discussion was moderated by Dr. Lucy McBride, Practicing Internal Medicine Physician.

New Survey: Two in Three Parents of Children Ages 5-11 Plan to Vaccinate Their Child Against COVID-19

New survey data released by the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project and the National Association of School Nurses shows that two-thirds of parents of children ages 5 – 11 plan to vaccinate their child against COVID-19. The survey also showed that 60 percent of parents of school-aged children support schools requiring eligible children to get a COVID-19 vaccine to attend school in-person. While three-quarters of parents are at least somewhat concerned their child could get COVID-19, among unvaccinated parents, the biggest factor in their rationale for why they have not, or do not plan to, vaccinate their child, is a worry that the vaccines were developed too quickly. Below you can find out more details on this survey and you can click here to read the press release.

Building Cross-Community COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence in Houston

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Coronavirus Task Force, shares an important message on the critical role of COVID-19 vaccines in saving lives. As some individuals remain hesitant to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee implores, “I’m asking you as a neighbor to go get vaccinated. I’m asking you as a family member to get vaccinated. And I’m asking you as a Houstonian, a Texan, and an American.”

To hear more from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, please view the video below:

Partner Townhall: Addressing Questions about COVID-19 Boosters and Vaccines

Given the recent federal recommendations and ongoing discussions around COVID-19 booster vaccines, the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project convened a partner townhall to address COVID-19 booster vaccine considerations. The discussion addressed the research and approval process for COVID-19 booster recommendations, questions about eligibility availability and timing, and highlighted the ongoing research and data showing that all three vaccines remain highly effective against the virus and the variants that have emerged.

Participants included:

  • Dr. Peter Marks, Director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER)
  • Dr. Melinda Wharton, Associate Director for Vaccine Policy and Clinical Partnerships at the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)

The discussion was co-moderated by Venus Ginés, President and Founder of Dia de la Mujer Latina and Sue Peschin, President and CEO of the Alliance for Aging Research and a co-convener of the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project.

Addressing COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence in Detroit’s Black Community

The COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project hosted a Facebook Live event with local leaders to discuss overcoming vaccine hesitancy among Detroit’s Black community. The conversation addressed common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine development process, safety and efficacy, myths vs. facts and highlighted available on-the-ground resources to help instill confidence in the vaccines.

Participants included:

  • State Rep. Tyrone Carter (D – District 6)
  • Yolanda Hill-Ashford, Director of Public Health Programs, Detroit Health Department
  • Karyne Jones, President & CEO, National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc.

Building Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines in Southwest Missouri

Given the low COVID-19 vaccination rates and the unique challenges rural areas face in overcoming vaccine hesitancy, the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project convened a conversation around building vaccine confidence in Southwest Missouri. Bringing together unique perspectives from the business community, local health officials and Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, the event addressed common questions about COVID-19 vaccines, the importance of vaccination in rebuilding the local economy and efforts underway to encourage vaccinations in the state.

Confirmed participants included:

  • U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO)
  • Katie Towns, Director, Springfield-Greene County Health Department
  • Dan Mehan, President and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce

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