COVID-19 Resource Center

COVID-19 Resource Center

August 31, 2021
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Latest AAP vaccine campaign asks: 'Are we there yet?'

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The AAP launched a new, CDC-backed marketing campaign encouraging parents to vaccinate children aged 12 years or older against COVID-19.

The campaign began last week and will continue through September, “with a particular focus on areas of the country with high rates of vaccine hesitancy,” the AAP said.

I've had my COVID-19 vaccine sticker.
Screenshot from a new AAP public service announcement that encourages parents to vaccinate their children against COVID-19. Source: AAP.

The FDA has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for teens aged 16 years and older, and the vaccine is also available under an emergency use authorization for children aged 12 to 15 years. Vaccines for children aged 5 years and older may be authorized in the coming months, and clinical trials are underway in children as young as 6 months old.

The campaign, sponsored by a CDC grant and created by Chicago marketing firm M. Harris & Co., kicked off Aug. 20 with the posting of a 30-second PSA to YouTube. In the spot, children and adolescents sit in the back seats of cars, impatiently asking, “Are we there yet?” The PSA ends with a parent pulling up to a vaccination site and reassuring their child, “We’re here.” The PSA can be viewed in English and Spanish.

The AAP said the campaign will also include radio PSAs in English and Spanish, social media efforts, animated science explainers, and videos of pediatricians from around the United States giving testimonials and answering commonly asked questions.

The AAP also partnered with Kaiser Family Foundation in a series of videos that feature pediatricians answering questions from comedian W. Kamau Bell about vaccine safety, efficacy and potential side effects, and the importance of vaccination.

The efforts could be life-saving for children, said AAP President Lee Savio Beers, MD.

“It’s so important for parents to get their children 12 and older vaccinated to prevent them from getting COVID-19,” Beers said in a news release. “COVID-19 can lead to serious illness for children and even death. Vaccinations and masking in schools are crucial to protecting our children through this pandemic, especially with the rise of the delta variant.”

The goal, the AAP added, is to reach parents who have not yet vaccinated their eligible children and encourage them to talk with a pediatrician about their questions and reservations.

The AAP noted that the delta variant is spreading rapidly among unvaccinated people, including children. After declining in early summer, pediatric cases have increased exponentially, with a more than five-fold increase in the past month, rising from about 38,000 cases during the week ending July 22 to nearly 204,000 during the week ending Aug. 26. COVID-19 has sent more than 19,000 children to the hospital.

Despite the full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine last week, the AAP has discouraged providers from administering the vaccine off-label to children younger than age 12 years.

References:

AAP. American Academy of Pediatrics launches COVID vaccine confidence campaign. https://www.aap.org/en/news-room/news-releases/aap/2021/american-academy-of-pediatrics-launches-covid-vaccine-confidence-campaign/. Accessed August 31, 2021. 

AAP. Children and COVID-19: State-level data report. https://www.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/children-and-covid-19-state-level-data-report/. Accessed August 31, 2021.