The Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP)—a national health association made up of Native physicians— has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates among Indigenous youth.

As of current vaccination standards, most children are eligible for vaccines, and some are eligible for booster shots. Children aged 6 months through 4 years should get all COVID-19 primary series doses, according to CDC guidelines. Children 5 years and older should get all primary series doses and the booster dose recommended by the CDC, if eligible. People 12 years and older are recommended to receive one updated Pfizer or Moderna booster.

The AAIP national COVID-19 vaccine campaign is aimed specifically at Native communities to dispel vaccine myths, communicate specific health disparities, and use culturally-specific language to encourage community members to protect their children. According to aaipvax.org, children make up 18 percent of all COVID-19 cases, and Native children have lost caregivers to COVID-19 nearly five times more than white children.

 “As the pandemic has evolved, so have our efforts to protect our communities,” AAIP President Lukejohn Day said in a statement. “Child vaccinations against the COVID-19 pandemic are safe, effective and available to American Indians and Alaska Natives, and they’re a tool for maintaining our cultures and keeping friends and neighbors healthy. Vaccination is a community effort with a colossal community impact.”  

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