COVID-19 Vaccinations Recommended for Children Aged 5 and Up

All children and teenagers aged 5 and up can now get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for free in every state. (Those 18 and up can get any approved COVID-19 vaccine.) Protect your whole family by getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Learn how to find a COVID-19 vaccine near you.

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Immunizing Children and Teens Helps Them Stay Healthy and Protected Throughout the School Year

Give children a shot to stay healthy by reminding parents to keep up with their child’s annual vaccinations. Vaccinations give kids extra protection and help reduce the risk of transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles and mumps. Routine medical visits and childhood vaccinations also play an important role in safely returning to school and extracurricular activities this fall.

National Immunization Awareness Month each August provides a great opportunity for organizations to promote the vaccination and preventive benefits for children who have or may be eligible for free or low-cost health insurance under Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). With Medicaid and CHIP, families can access annual age-appropriate immunizations, booster shots, and flu shots for kids and teens up to age 19. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the administration of key vaccines to children ages 2 to 17 declined between 60% and 70% from March to May of 2020 and that vaccine administration had not yet caught-up. That’s another reason it is especially important during the Back-to-School season this year to remind parents and caretakers about the importance of keeping up with childhood vaccinations.

The Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign has a variety of resources to help parents rest easier knowing childhood vaccinations and booster shots are covered. Organizations can use the free customizable materials in their outreach efforts year-round, including digital videos, palmcards, posters, infographics, social media messages, graphics, and more. Be sure to explore the Outreach Tool Library for all Campaign resources.

A Note About the Child Tax Credit and Public Charge

Starting on July 15, most families are eligible to receive monthly child tax credits payments of up to $250 per child ages 6-17 and $300 per child under age 6. Receiving this tax credit does not impact a family’s ability to qualify for Medicaid or CHIP. More information can be found at childtaxcredit.gov.

And having Medicaid or CHIP won’t affect someone’s chances of becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident or U.S. citizen. The Department of Homeland Security will not consider applying for or receiving Medicaid or CHIP when making a “public charge” determination (except Medicaid for long-term institutionalization, such as nursing home care). To read a copy of the full Informational Bulletin, please visit: Public Charge and Safeguarding Beneficiary Information

New Videos Available

Did you know that the Campaign has a series of digital videos which your organization can use in Medicaid and CHIP outreach and enrollment? These new Campaign videos can be used to encourage parents and caretakers to enroll their children in Medicaid and CHIP year-round to access important benefits like routine well-child visits and dental care. Here a few examples of the videos:

  • “Call Today” video in English and Spanish
    Remind parents to call their child’s health care provider to schedule routine medical visits and vaccinations, especially if they missed any during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • “Smiles for School” video in English and Spanish 
    Let parents know about the oral health benefits covered by Medicaid and CHIP and why keeping up with their child’s dental health before school starts is so important.

Upcoming Observances

To help prepare for the 2021-2022 school year, the Campaign has a variety of Back-to-School resources that can help get the word out to parents and caretakers about Medicaid and CHIP.

Additional observances in September-October include:

  • Baby Safety Awareness Month (September)
  • National Preparedness Month (September)
  • National Suicide Prevention Week (September 5-11)
  • National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15)
  • Children’s Health Month (October)
  • National Primary Care Week (October 4-8)
  • National Health Education Week (October 18-22)

Stay Connected with the Campaign 

  • Share our Campaign materials. Our ever-growing, multi-lingual Outreach Tool Library features a variety of targeted resources to use in your outreach and enrollment efforts, available in multiple formats.
  • Contact us. To get more involved with the Campaign, contact us via email at ConnectingKids@cms.hhs.gov.
  • Follow the Campaign on Twitter. Remember to re-tweet or share our messages from @IKNGov with your social network and be sure to use our #Enroll365 and #KidsEnroll hashtags in your posts.

Subscribe to the “Campaign Notes” eNewsletter

The Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign eNewsletter “Campaign Notes” is distributed throughout the year and provides updates on Campaign activities. If a friend or colleague forwarded this email to you, we invite you to sign up to receive this eNewsletter directly to your inbox.