As the Delta variant drives a nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases, the importance of vaccines in preventing illness and death from the disease has become increasingly clear. That's why Stanford Medicine pediatric infectious disease expert Yvonne Maldonado, MD, is participating in a campaign led by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the American Academy of Pediatrics to answer parents' questions about COVID-19 vaccines.
In a series of short FAQ videos, Maldonado and two other pediatricians discuss the vaccines' safety and efficacy, the need for everyone 12 years and older to be vaccinated and the status of ongoing clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines for younger children.
The videos are part of a campaign called The Conversation / La Conversacion, presented by a Kaiser Family Foundation public information initiative called Greater than COVID, which shares facts about the pandemic, especially with people in medically underserved populations.
This is familiar ground for Maldonado: She is directing Stanford's participation in the pediatric clinical trials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and has been a key leader in many aspects of Stanford Medicine's pandemic response.
The videos feature pediatricians because parents have high trust in them, according to a news release from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
"The surge in COVID cases as children return to school has many parents anxious about how best to protect their families. Parents trust pediatricians more than everyone else when it comes to information on vaccinating their kids. This campaign provides resources that build on that trust," said KFF President and CEO Drew Altman.
According to recent findings from the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, pediatricians are the top trusted source of information on COVID-19 for parents. Among parents of teens who discussed the vaccine with their pediatrician, most say the doctor recommended their child get vaccinated, and three-quarters of those whose pediatrician recommended vaccination say their child has received at least one shot.
The full video series is now available online and will be promoted on Stanford Medicine's social media channels over the next several weeks. The experts hope accessible, easy-to-understand, factual information about COVID-19 and vaccines will help parents be more comfortable with getting their children vaccinated as soon as they're eligible.
"There is no doubt in my mind that we absolutely need vaccines for children," Maldonado said in the news release. "We know that vaccines are the most effective public health intervention to keep all populations safe and healthy."
Photo courtesy of Greater Than COVID/Kaiser Family Foundation