How to Talk with Parents about COVID-19 Vaccination

Tips for Pediatricians, Family Medicine Practitioners, and Other Pediatric Providers

Medical professionals graphic

Parents consider their child’s healthcare providers to be their most trusted source of information when it comes to vaccines. You play a critical role in helping them understand the importance of COVID-19 vaccination and assuring them that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

Everyone 12 and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. As a pediatric provider, your strong recommendation is critical for COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and protecting children’s health.

How to Answer Parents’ Questions about COVID-19 Vaccines
Two parents with pre-teen son meeting pediatrician

Now, more than ever, it’s important to take extra time to have vaccine conversations with parents and foster support for vaccination with your practice.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has resources to help you answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines from your patients, their parents/guardians, and staff within your practice.

  • Adolescent Vaccines – This page contains information for parents/guardians on preparing for vaccination for their child, what to expect during their child’s visit, side effects, and more.
  • Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine – Share the benefits of vaccination with parents and guardians and that it is a safe way to build protection. Getting all family members 12 years and older vaccinated can protect other family members around you.

    Note: Enrollment in the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program does not translate to enrollment to administer COVID-19 vaccine; providers will have to enroll separately to administer the vaccine.

  • Coadministration of Vaccines – COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines may now be administered without regard to timing. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines on the same day, as well as coadministration within 14 days.
  • Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines – Accurate information is critical and can help stop common vaccine myths and rumors. This page has information for talking with parents/guardians about common vaccine myths. Reassure parents that there is no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, can cause female or male fertility problems.
  • V-safe After Vaccination CheckerV-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
How to Promote COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence as Pediatric Provider
illustration of a woman in a mask taking a selfie of herself with her covid-19 vaccination sticker

“Vaccine confidence” is the trust that people have in recommended vaccines. Right now, patients and families in your practice may be wading through a lot of information—and misinformation—to make decisions about COVID-19 vaccinations.

  • Consider ways that patients and families in your practice like to receive information and use these mechanisms to debunk common myths and answer frequently asked questions.
  • CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccines Social Media Toolkitincludes sample social media messages and graphics you can use on your practice’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages and can be adapted to fit your needs.
Posters and Social Media Graphics for Pediatric Practices
several social media cars promoting COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 12 years and up

Available in English and Spanish

Download age-appropriate COVID-19 vaccine educational posters, and social media graphics to use in pediatric exam rooms, waiting rooms, and on your practice’s social media channels.

Additional Resources
Page last reviewed: July 21, 2021