Biden officials call on early childhood teachers to help promote kids’ COVID vaccines

Associated Press/Ted Shaffrey
Ellen Fraint holds her daughter, seven-month-old Jojo, as she receives the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children at Montefiore Medical Group in the Bronx borough of New York City on Tuesday June 21, 2022.

Two Biden administration officials released a letter on Wednesday calling on teachers to help encourage parents to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19 now that vaccines are available to nearly all children.

In a “Dear Colleagues” letter provided to The Hill, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona called on the staff for early childhood education (ECE) programs to help in getting more children vaccinated.

“We appreciate your leadership, dedication, perseverance, and resilience, and honor your efforts that consistently put the needs of children first,” Becerra and Cardona said.

Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cleared the way for children older than 6 months and under the age of 5 years to receive COVID-19 vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna.

The two secretaries called on ECE staffers to do three things: encourage parents to connect with health care providers, share information about COVID-19 vaccines with families with eligible children and partner with local health care providers to host vaccination clinics at their facilities or neighborhoods.

“As trusted messengers, staff of ECE programs and schools play a vital role in spreading the good news that COVID-19 vaccination is available for our youngest children,” the secretaries wrote. “You are essential in encouraging parents and guardians to learn about and access vaccines for all children 6 months of age and older, which will be available free at no cost.”

To help in hosting vaccination clinics, the secretaries encouraged ECE staffers to use tools provided by the HHS’s We Can Do This COVID-19 education campaign. They added that there were “ample funds” through the American Rescue Plan Act’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund to reimburse the costs of hosting clinics.

Tags Biden coronavirus vaccine COVID-19 vaccine Miguel Cardona Xavier Becerra
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