Vermont: American Academy of Pediatrics Virtual Information Sessions on Vaccinating Children Under Five


The Vermont Department of Health and Vermont chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) partnered to develop Facebook Live information sessions for parents about vaccinating their children against COVID-19.


In August of 2022, the Vermont Department of Health and Vermont chapter of the AAP recognized the need for education on COVID-19 vaccine administration to children under 5-years-old. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) approved two COVID-19 vaccines in early June of 2022 and recommended children ages 6 months to 5 years be vaccinated. The Vermont AAP and other pediatric physicians supported this recommendation. Parental concerns about the newly approved vaccine prompted apprehension about vaccine administration, a barrier to further vaccination efforts.


Vermont Department of Health and Vermont AAP collaborated to host three informational sessions led by pediatricians about vaccinating children under five against COVID-19. These meetings were hosted virtually over Facebook Live on July 11, August 8, and August 10, 2022. The sessions provided general information about the updated CDC guidelines, as well as answers for common questions faced by parents when considering vaccination of their young child, such as “Does my child need to get vaccinated?” and “What are the risks of vaccination?” After the informational portion of the presentation, a portion of time was set aside for parents to ask the pediatrician leading the meeting additional questions about vaccinating young children against COVID-19. Sessions were hosted by Dr. Becca Bell, the Vermont AAP chapter president, and ranged from 50 minutes to 75 minutes. The first session was led by Dr. Leah Costello, a pediatrician from Timberlane Pediatrics. The second session was led by Dr. Stan Weinberger, a pediatrician working at the Vermont Children’s Hospital. The third session was led by Dr. Monica Benjamin, a pediatric ICU doctor at University of Vermont Children’s Hospital. The meetings were recorded and uploaded to the Vermont Medical Society YouTube page and are linked on the Vermont AAP website.


This collaborative media campaign provided access to COVID-19 vaccine information from professionals who work directly with the newly eligible population of children. Since these meetings were recorded and publicly available, those who were not able to attend the sessions could view them later, promoting accessibility. The first session has 115 views, the second session has 16 views, and the third session has 31 views as of June 2023 on YouTube.

Supplemental Resources


Years: 2022, 2023

Locations: Vermont

Programmatic Areas: Adolescent Immunization, Communication, COVID-19, Partnerships, Public Health Functions

Key Words: Adolescents, Communication, COVID-19, Health Promotion, Immunization Education, Partnership, public awareness, social media

Evidence Based: No

Evaluations: No

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