“High Five for Health,” a new public service campaign, speaks directly to the concerns of Kentucky parents about COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5–11 years old. “High Five for Health,” launched by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and supported by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicaid, addresses concerns voiced by parents in focus groups, offers answers to frequently asked questions and provides five steps for parents to consider when getting their child vaccinated.

“We continue to hear from parents and caregivers across Kentucky that they want the facts about COVID-19 vaccines from their own child’s doctor,” said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “We encourage folks to schedule an appointment and have that candid conversation with their pediatrician or family doctor, then create a ‘parent game plan’ for getting their child vaccinated,” said Chandler.

“High Five for Health” is a multi-faceted education and awareness effort that includes animated videos, social media graphics, message points and materials for use in doctors’ offices, youth organizations and various other locations. Health care professionals, community-driven entities and the public are strongly urged to download the free toolkit to improve outreach, spark critical conversations and equip parents with the facts about COVID-19 vaccines.

“At Anthem, we want parents and community members across Kentucky to be informed and empowered when making critical healthcare decisions for themselves and their families,” said Leon Lamoreaux, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicaid president in Kentucky. Lamoreaux continued, “As part of our ongoing commitment to improving health outcomes for everyone across the Commonwealth, we are pleased to partner on this vitally important public service campaign to ensure parents get all the information they need about COVID-19 vaccines for their children.”

The “High Five for Health” action plan includes five steps:

1. Talk with your pediatrician or family doctor.

Meet with your pediatrician or family doctor to share your concerns and schedule your child’s vaccine. Your doctor can provide a personalized recommendation that best meets your child’s and family’s health care needs.

2. Talk with your child

Discuss with your children what are the vaccines, their importance and what might happen after they get it. They may have arm pain, a headache, feel tired, or have achy muscles. These should go away in a day or two. Help them understand the getting the shot protects them and others from getting sick, including any young siblings or grandparents. Other benefits may include participation in after-school programs and organized sports or not having to quarantine if they’ve been exposed to the virus. Talking things through with them can relieve anxiety and fear about getting a shot in the first place.   

3. Schedule your child’s vaccine appointment

Pick a location and time that is convenient and fits in your child’s schedule. No matter where your child gets the vaccine – doctor’s office, school, church, pharmacy, etc. – all locations report their vaccine record to the state registry. That means even if you don’t get it at your doctor’s office, they can still access the information for your child’s medical record. Also consider upcoming sports and activities and try to find some downtime in case your child has any minor side effects. Winter break from school is a perfect opportunity.

4. Prepare your vaccine-ready kit

Hydration is key. Doctors recommend hydrating before and after the vaccine. Also, have on-hand a non-aspirin child’s pain reliever in case your child has pain at the injection site, sore muscles or a headache.

5. Get your child vaccinated

When you’re at the doctor’s office or immunization clinic, be calm. Remember kids pick up on how the adults around them are feeling. And consider a reward or special activity for “being brave.”

All campaign materials are available for free download at High5forHealth.org.

“The Foundation is proud to partner with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicaid on this project,” Chandler said. “We must come together to conquer the coronavirus. Anthem is committed to getting the word out to Kentuckians that the vaccines are effective and safe. They are our best defense against the virus and our best hope of getting back to normal life.”

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