Borrowing Proven Policy Strategies to Vaccinate Kids Against COVID-19: Lessons from Past Successes can Provide a Roadmap for Ensuring Equity in Immunization Efforts
With authorization of the first COVID-19 vaccine for children ages five and older, most kids in the United States are now eligible to be immunized. Recent experience with other vaccines shows the country is capable of vaccinating kids widely and equitably, but the challenges in vaccinating adults against COVID-19 and experiences with other immunizations in children, like the vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV), also demonstrate that success is not inevitable. To meet their COVID-19 vaccination goals to vaccinate kids against COVID-19, states can borrow strategies that have historically proved effective in immunizing kids against diseases such as measles and resulted in dramatic reductions in certain vaccination rate disparities. This issue brief highlights state strategies that have led to high childhood vaccination rates—and dramatic strides toward health equity—and identifies how those strategies could be applied in the context of the current COVID-19 crisis.