3 Ways Early Care and Education Programs Can Promote COVID-19 Vaccination

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Now that children as young as 6 months can get a COVID vaccine, practically everyone has access to the protection that vaccination provides against the dangers of COVID.

Parents and guardians think of early care and education providers like you as trusted messengers. We need your help with educating parents and guardians about the vaccines and with getting their children vaccinated.

What You Can Do

The We Can Do This campaign’s School Communities Toolkit has resources, including templates and guides, to help you with the following:

1. Make it easy for children and families to get vaccinated

Convenience is one factor that keeps parents and guardians from getting themselves or their children vaccinated. 

Consider hosting on-site vaccine clinics. Schedule them at a time when it’s easy for parents and guardians to be present, such as at drop-off or pick-up time. The COVID vaccines require multiple doses, so plan to host more than one clinic. Also consider offering other, routine childhood vaccinations at your clinic for children who’ve fallen behind on their vaccinations because of the pandemic. COVID vaccines can be given at the same time as other vaccines. Be sure to share with parents and guardians tips for making vaccine shots less stressful and painful for children.

Alternatively, consider partnering with other community providers to host vaccination sites in your community.

Vaccine providers can include local health departments, community health centers, pediatric clinics, children’s hospitals, pharmacies, and other medical providers. To find a vaccine provider to partner with, contact your local health department or your local Child Care Resource & Referral Agency.

2. Answer people’s questions

It’s normal for parents and guardians to have questions—and misconceptions—about the COVID vaccines. Equip yourself and your staff with the We Can Do This campaign’s fact-based public health messaging, such as answers to frequently asked questions. Also connect families to experts. For example, invite a local pediatrician for “office hours” during drop-off and pick-up to answer parents’ and guardians’ questions. Or host a community town hall or parent–teacher association meeting with a Q&A session that features local pediatricians and other trusted medical providers. 

3. Promote the expanded eligibility for COVID vaccines

Send emails or letters home with parents and guardians, spread the word on social media and your website, and talk about it in your newsletters.

Make sure parents and guardians know that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics, and other leading national health care groups recommend that every child 6 months and older get vaccinated against COVID as soon as possible.