Campaign to encourage parents to vaccinate children aged 5 to 11
Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has created a new series of television, radio and social media ads featuring “Real Kids” – children ages 5 to 11 explaining why they were vaccinated against COVID 19 – as part of its statewide GoVAX campaign. Interviews with the children have been conducted over the past few weeks at vaccination clinics in Baltimore City and Howard County and at a private pediatric practice in Colombia.
“We know that some parents take a wait-and-see approach, even though they intend to have their children vaccinated one day. We urge these parents not to wait and to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccines are safe and effective for children and continue to be our best defense against serious illness, hospitalization and death,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader.
Children ages 5-11 were cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to receive the Pfizer COVID vaccine on October 29, 2021. To date, 40% of Maryland children in this age group age received at least one dose of both -dose regimen.?
“It is important to emphasize to all parents and guardians that vaccines help protect their children against serious diseases,” said MDH Deputy Public Health Secretary Dr. Jinlene Chan. “We have recently seen an increase in outbreaks in schools and we know how important it is to keep children in school for in-person learning. The more children who get vaccinated, the better our chances of keeping children in the classroom and allowing them to participate in the activities they love.
Children appearing in “Real Kids” videos give a variety of reasons for wanting to get vaccinated, ranging from returning to football practice and sleepovers with friends to wanting to visit grandparents or take a cruise with their parents. Almost all understood the importance of being protected against disease and described being vaccinated as “having a little pinch”.
Roslyn, seven, from Baltimore, said she wanted to get the shot to help protect her little sister, who is too young to get the shot herself. “It was easier than I thought,” Roslyn said. “I was a little more nervous than scared.”
“Since I got the vaccine, I think my parents will worry less,” said Chandler, 10, of Columbia, who also said he was happy and relieved to be vaccinated.
The state’s multi-pronged GoVAX campaign, first launched a year ago, encourages all Marylanders to protect themselves, their families and communities by getting vaccinated as soon as they become eligible .
Since its inception, the campaign has featured television, radio, outdoor and digital advertising, social media, grassroots outreach through door-to-door canvassing, virtual town halls, the use of sound trucks in targeted neighborhoods and community messaging through doctors. offices, hair salons and salons.
The campaign incorporated testimonials from dozens of “trusted leaders” across the state as GoVAX ambassadors, including doctors, first responders, faith and community leaders, sports personalities, researchers, agents health, elected officials and others.
“As a pediatrician and a parent, I think about all the routine vaccines we give our children. We know vaccines work and they protect children,” said Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, Baltimore City Health Commissioner and GoVAX Ambassador. “The protection of this population is essential to keep them in school. They’ve missed being virtual so much, so we want to make sure they can stay in school and learn safely.
“So far, we have been quite successful in vaccinating children aged 5 to 11, but we need to keep pushing. We must also continue to promote the vaccination of 12 to 17 year olds,” said Dr. Monique Soileau-Burke, a pediatrician in Colombia, vice president of the Maryland chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and GoVAX Ambassador. “And for middle schoolers, well, I’m going to talk to them directly — get vaccinated and do your part.”
To date, Maryland has administered nearly 11 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 4.9 million Marylanders have received at least one dose.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccines and GoVAX campaign, visit covidLINK.maryland.gov.
For the most recent data on Maryland’s COVID-19 vaccine, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov.