Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program(CHIP) provide quality health coverage to more than 40 million children, and over half of all American children with special health care needs. Through Medicaid, children receive access to essential health care services, including immunizations.
Medicaid’s Immunization Coverage for Children
Immunizations are an essential tool for preventing a wide range of diseases that pose serious threats to a child’s health. Medicaid ensures that children have access to vaccines that protect them against illnesses such as the flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and COVID-19.
Children enrolled in Medicaid are eligible to receive all vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit. The Vaccines for Children Program provides vaccines at no cost for children under 18 who are enrolled in Medicaid, are uninsured or underinsured, or who are American Indian or Alaska Native.
Although the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) has ended, Medicaid programs will continue to cover the vaccine at no cost for children through the Vaccines for Children Program for families unable to pay.
As children head back to school, it is critical that they remain healthy and up to date with their immunizations. This back-to-school season, Children’s Hospital Association, a Modern Medicaid Alliance partner, carried out a campaign to encourage uptake of pediatric COVID-19 vaccines for children across the country.
“Make COVID-19 History”: Vaccinating with Confidence
In July, Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) launched the “Make COVID-19 History” campaign to address vaccine hesitancy and increase pediatric uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine. The campaign funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention given to the American Hospital Association ran through the end of September, aligning with the end of summer and start of back-to-school season.
To highlight the importance of vaccinating children against COVID-19, the campaign ran videos and digital and social media advertising in nine target states encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated to prevent COVID-19 related tragedies within our communities.
This video, titled “Ready,” emphasizes how vaccinating children against COVID-19 is not only an essential part of back-to-school preparation but also a way to move forward as a community.
The second video, “What You Can’t See,” explains how getting the COVID-19 vaccine can protect those who cannot protect themselves, such as immunocompromised individuals.
CHA also created social media toolkits for families, advocates, and other stakeholders to use to help raise awareness of the campaign and amplify vaccine confidence messaging. The content and graphics in the toolkit can be used across X (formerly known as Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
CHA also conducted supplemental activities to bolster the campaign, including:
- Posting a series of podcasts to the campaign landing page that serve as case studies for the importance of pediatric vaccinations and fostering trust among stakeholders;
- Providing the latest COVID-19 vaccination recommendations for children from the CDC on the landing page; and
- Hosting a webinar to further elevate the campaign and promote their advertising materials.
CHA has various resources that reinforce Medicaid’s critical role in keeping children healthy. For more on the work CHA has done to educate patients and policymakers about Medicaid, check out this Spotlight from 2022.