Public Health Partners Assert Importance of Vaccines in Pandemic Fight

March 2022

Young boy receiving vaccination while his mother looks on.

As leading public health organizations, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), Association of Immunization Managers (AIM), Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC), and National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) urge all children five years of age and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to help protect them and their families from severe infections, hospitalizations and even death and to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community. COVID-19 vaccination is the best protection for children against COVID-19 and its potential short- and long-term complications. Vaccination also helps reduce the spread of COVID-19 to others in the community who are at a higher risk for hospitalization and death following infection.

Contrary to the misinformation arising in some jurisdictions, the benefit of getting vaccinated far outweighs any risks.

The strong data showing that the vaccine is both safe and effective allows parents to know they are making the best choice for the health of their children when they choose to get them vaccinated. Contrary to the misinformation arising in some jurisdictions, the benefit of getting vaccinated far outweighs any risks. The vaccine protects children from serious complications of COVID-19 infection, helps to keep them in school, and makes their entire community safer.

The COVID-19 vaccine for children is recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health and healthcare experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association, and the Infectious Disease Society of America. The COVID-19 vaccine was first recommended for children five years of age and older in November 2021 and now more than 26 million children have received at least one dose of vaccine. While the vaccine trials involved fewer individuals, the widespread use and monitoring of the vaccine post-trial among millions and millions of children confirms the safety of the vaccines demonstrated in the initial trials is exceptional. Achieving high COVID-19 vaccination rates in all age groups, including children five years of age and older, remains a critical tool in preventing unnecessary illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths in our communities, while providing a path forward towards a return to normalcy.

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About CSTE

Founded in 1951, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) represents the interests of State Epidemiologists from all 50 U.S. states and territories. CSTE is also the professional home to more than 2200 practicing applied epidemiologists. Contact: Jeremy Arieh, Director of Communications, 770-458-3811.

About AIM

The Association of Immunization Managers (AIM) is a non-profit membership association comprised of representatives from 64 federally-funded state, territorial and local National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases awardees. AIM is dedicated to working with its partners nationwide to reduce, eliminate or eradicate vaccine preventable diseases. AIM also works to ensure the success of its members by providing support in their programming interests. Since 1999, AIM has enabled collaboration among immunization managers to effectively control vaccine-preventable diseases and improve immunization coverage in the United States.

About APHL

The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) works to strengthen laboratory systems serving the public’s health in the US and globally. APHL’s member laboratories protect the public’s health by monitoring and detecting infectious and foodborne diseases, environmental contaminants, terrorist agents, genetic disorders in newborns and other diverse health threats. Contact: Michelle Forman, Manager, Media, 240-485-2793.

About NACCHO

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation’s nearly 3,000 local health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. Contact: Theresa Spinner, Lead, Media and Public Affairs, 202-783- 5551.

About BCHC

The Big Cities Health Coalition is a forum for the leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health departments to exchange strategies and jointly address issues to promote and protect the health and safety of the 61 million people they serve. Together, these public health officials directly affect the health and well-being of nearly one in five Americans. Contact: Elizabeth Green, Communications Director, 301-685-5071.