ITASCA, Ill. (Aug. 31, 2021) - The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has launched a multi-faceted national marketing campaign encouraging parents to get their children ages 12 and older vaccinated against COVID-19.
The campaign includes television and radio PSAs in English and Spanish, social media campaigns, animated science explainers, and videos of pediatricians from around the United States giving testimonials and answering commonly asked questions.
The campaign, supported by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is rolling out from now through September and will be distributed nationwide, with a particular focus on areas of the country with high rates of vaccine hesitancy.
The television PSA, which can be viewed here in English and here in Spanish, features children chanting that backseat refrain familiar to parents everywhere: “Are we there yet?”
“We’re there!” exclaims the mom as they arrive at a COVID-19 vaccination site.
The AAP created the multi-pronged effort to reach parents who have not yet vaccinated their eligible children — and to encourage them to talk with a pediatrician about their questions and reservations.
The AAP strongly urges all children and adults to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can. Data from clinical trials and experience with the vaccine in adolescents over the past four months show that the vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to protect them.
The FDA has approved the Pfizer vaccine in teens 16 and older and granted emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine for children 12 to 15. Vaccines for children ages 5 and older may be authorized soon, and clinical trials are underway in children as young as six months old.
“It’s so important for parents to get their children 12 and older vaccinated to prevent them from getting COVID-19,” said Dr. Lee Savio Beers, AAP President. “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.”
“Parents should call their pediatrician if they have any questions,” Dr. Beers added.
The Delta variant is spreading rapidly among unvaccinated people, including children. After declining in early summer, child cases have increased exponentially, with a more than five-fold increase the past month, rising from about 38,000 cases the week ending July 22 to nearly 204,000 the week ending Aug. 26. COVID-19 has sent more than 19,000 children to the hospital.
The AAP’s COVID-19 vaccine campaign was created and produced by M. Harris & Co, a Chicago marketing firm. Future components of the campaign, such as the pediatrician testimonials and science explainers, will be available on the AAP’s YouTube channel in coming days and weeks. A toolkit of shareable resources is also available at AAP.org.
To further the effort to put out factual information from trusted sources about the COVID vaccine for kids, AAP has partnered with Kaiser Family Foundation in a series of videos with pediatricians answering common questions. Comedian W. Kamau Bell asks the questions about vaccine safety, efficacy and potential side effects, as well as the need for vaccinations among children. The video library can be accessed at GreaterThanCOVID.org/Kids.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.