Tweens, Teens and the COVID Vaccine: What Parents Need to Know Before School Starts
AmeriHealth Caritas continues culturally competent, community-first approach to increase vaccination access for adolescents most in need in time for new academic year
AmeriHealth Caritas, a national leader in Medicaid managed care and health care solutions for those most in need, today announced that it will collaborate with state, community, and provider partners to expand access to vaccine protection against COVID-19 for adolescent Medicaid members ages 12 and older with their parent’s or guardian’s consent. The aim is to help ensure this young population receives the second vaccine by Aug. 16, 2021, so they are able to return to school in September fully vaccinated.
In May 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that children ages 12 and older should receive the vaccine after a clinical trial revealed that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 100% effective at preventing COVID-19 with symptoms in children 12 through 15 years old.
“It’s a race against the clock if adolescents are to be inoculated against COVID-19 before the start of the school year,” said Karen Amstutz, M.D., AmeriHealth Caritas’ chief medical officer and a pediatrician. “It’s imperative that all eligible adolescents – no matter their economic status or zip code – have equal access to the vaccine and that our young, vulnerable members are not left behind when it comes time to participate in in-person learning.”
Since COVID-19 vaccines were made publicly available earlier this year, AmeriHealth Caritas has provided members and their households with timely information and education about the various vaccines. The company has also coordinated travel for members to the appropriate vaccine distribution points. This outreach has been conducted for members, including those who face language barriers and/or complex chronic conditions impacted by limited access to the social determinants of health (SDOH), such as transportation, safe housing, education, and economic stability.
These communication tactics continue with targeted outreach to the households of AmeriHealth Caritas’ adolescent members in Delaware, Louisiana, Michigan, and South Carolina, as well as a special vaccination event in the Philadelphia area. These activities are designed to help adolescents within the Medicaid program get vaccinated.
Members of AmeriHealth Caritas’ health plans with questions about COVID-19 should contact their plan’s Member Services team, found on their member identification card or on their health plan’s website.