Stanford pediatrician answers COVID-19 vaccine questions

As the Delta variant causes a nationwide increase in COVID-19 cases, the importance of vaccines in preventing disease and death from the disease is becoming increasingly clear. That’s why Yvonne Maldonado, MD, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Stanford Medicine, is participating in a campaign led by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the American Academy of Pediatrics to answer parental questions about COVID-19 vaccines.

In a series of short FAQ videos, Maldonado and two other pediatricians discuss the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, 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 is sharing facts about the pandemic, especially with people in medically disadvantaged populations.

Courtesy of Greater Than COVID/Kaiser Family Foundation

This is familiar territory for Maldonado: She leads 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 a lot of confidence in them, according to a press release from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

“With the increase in COVID cases as children return to school, many parents are concerned about how best to protect their families. Parents trust pediatricians more than anyone else when it comes to information about vaccinating their children. 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 main reliable source of information about COVID-19 for parents. Of the parents of teens who have discussed the vaccine with their pediatrician, most say the doctor has recommended their child get vaccinated, and three-quarters of those whose pediatrician has recommended vaccination say their child has had at least one shot got.

The full video series is now available online and will be promoted on Stanford Medicine’s social media channels in the coming weeks. The experts hope that accessible, easy-to-understand, factual information about COVID-19 and vaccines will help parents feel more comfortable vaccinating their children once they become eligible.

“I have no doubt that we absolutely need vaccines for children,” Maldonado said in the press 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

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